The U.S. House voted to temporarily suspend the nation’s borrowing limit, removing the debt ceiling for now as a tool for seeking deeper spending cuts.
The measure, passed 285-144, lifts the government’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit until May 19. It goes to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid said lawmakers will pass the measure unchanged and send it to President Barack Obama.
…Republicans plan to use two other approaching deadlines — the March 1 start of automatic spending cuts and the need to pass a bill by the end of March to fund the government — to extract spending reductions from Obama and congressional Democrats.
The measure passed today, H.R. 325, would allow the nation’s borrowing authority to automatically rise May 19 to accommodate the amount the U.S. Treasury borrowed during the three months that the limit is suspended.