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Democrats set to raise the...

Democrats set to raise the nation’s debt ceiling following U.S. Senate vote

By: Anne Summerhays - December 9, 2021

See how Mississippi’s Senators, Congressmen voted on the measure.

On Tuesday night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that kicked off a multi-step process to lift the nation’s debt limit with a simple majority needed should the bill pass the Senate. The House passed the measure by a vote of 222-212.

Today, Senators voted 64-36 to close debate on the bill.

The Senate convened this morning to vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur on the House amendment S. 610. The Senate vote clears the way for Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own.

This bill outlines a compromise between both the parties to put a provision that fast-tracks the debt limit process into an unrelated Medicare bill. Should that bill become law, the Senate will begin a process to raise the debt ceiling in subsequent legislation.

The Hill reported that the vote on the debt hike bill is expected to take place by December 15, when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned Congress it will hit a cliff for keeping the government solvent.

In November, Secretary Yellen sent a letter to Congressional leaders on the debt limit, saying that though she is highly confident that the Treasury will be able to finance the U.S. government through December 15, “there are scenarios in which Treasury would be left with insufficient remaining resources to continue to finance the operations of the U.S. government beyond this date.”

The full text of Yellen’s letter can be read here.

Mississippi U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith opposed the initial attempt by Democrats to raise the debt ceiling. Both Republican Senators have been actively against raising the debt ceiling, citing concerns with Democrats’ reckless spending.

Senator Wicker voted on Thursday to end debate on the House legislation and intends to vote against final passage of the legislation and ultimately against the legislation to raise the debt ceiling.

Wicker was among fourteen Senate Republicans who voted to advance a deal negotiated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to set up a one-time exemption to the filibuster on raising the debt ceiling. 

“Congressional Democrats have rammed through trillions in unnecessary spending over the past year, and next week they will have to finance their spending by raising the debt limit alone – without a single Republican vote,” Senator Wicker told Y’all Politics. “It is time for Democrats to go on record and own this reckless spending. Our nation cannot afford to suffer the irreparable damage of a default on our debt.”

Senator Hyde-Smith voted against the measure today. She has shared that she does not want any part of the Democrats’ attempts to use the debt ceiling vote to clear a path for the their “socialist agenda.”

“Americans are witnessing Democrat political theater intended to make Republicans complicit in their reckless tax and spending spree. Don’t forget the Democrats have total control of the federal government, including the schedule,” Senator Hyde-Smith told Y’all Politics in September. “Instead of working responsibly the past eight months to write and pass appropriations bills, they’ve waited until the last minute to try to use the threat of a government shutdown and debt default to clear the path for their socialist agenda. I don’t want any part of it. Bring straight-forward bills to the floor and the country can escape another unnecessary Democrat-engineered crisis.”

Mississippi Republican Congressmen Trent Kelly (MS 1), Michael Guest (MS 3) and Steven Palazzo (MS 4) all voted against the measure to raise the debt ceiling. The state’s only Democrat in Congress, Bennie Thompson, voted with his party leadership in favor of the bill.

Congressman Michael Guest raised concerns over the pending cuts to Medicare that are now in the same bill as the debt ceiling provision Democrats are set to pass.

Guest tweeted that for months, he has called for Congress to address pending cuts in the Medicare program.

“Unfortunately, the legislation considered last night combined the critical needs of our healthcare providers with the partisan debt limit debate, and I could not support it,” Guest wrote.

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: