Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to introduce a bill calling for an increase to the federal debt ceiling that will not include social program cuts demanded by House Republicans, ABC News reported on Monday.
The bill, which has been referred to as a “clean” increase, is scheduled to come before the Senate floor Monday evening or early Tuesday, with just over 10 days left until the U.S. Treasury Department will lose the ability to borrow more money to pay off the country’s financial obligations. For it to pass in the Senate, not only would Democrats need to vote for it unanimously, but they would need to attract six Republicans. On Oct. 2, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) accused Reid’s party of “scaring people” over the prospect of the country defaulting on its debts.
The Washington Post reported that President Barack Obama’s administration supports raising the debt limit both for a six-week period, as well as through the 2014 midterm elections. During an appearance at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., Obama challenged House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), “Call a vote right now, and let’s see what happens,” in response to statements from Boehner saying there were not enough votes in the GOP-dominated House of Represenatatives to pass an increase.
A spokesperson for Boehner, Brendan Buck, told the Post that he would continue to make a debt limit increase contingent on including cuts to social service programs like Social Security and Medicare.
“Any debt-limit increase is going to require cuts and reforms to address America’s enormous budget deficit,” Buck said to the Post.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]