The House of Representatives voted to lift the debt limit on Wednesday evening, but the bill faces long odds in the Senate.
The House vote comes just days after Senate Republicans blocked legislation that not only would have suspended the debt limit but would have also continued funding the government after 30 September.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed optimism after the vote.
“We are very, very proud of our members for doing that,” Ms Pelosi told a gaggle of reporters Wednesday evening, chiding them for asking about other subjects such as infrastructure. “This was a great victory and you’re ignoring it.”
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the department would run out of resources to prevent a default on the nation’s credit by 18 October in her testimony to the Senate Banking Committee.
“The full faith and credit of the United States would be impaired, and our country would likely face a financial crisis and economic recession,” Ms Yellen said.
The vote is one of many responsibilities Congress faces at the moment. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged that Republicans will not vote to help with raising the debt limit. At the same time, Congress must pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running by the end of the year.
Ms Pelosi said the Senate will send a continuing resolution on Thursday.
“We’ll get two of those challenges off the table, which are time-consuming,” she said.
At the same time, Ms Pelosi faces a caucus that is divided about voting on legislation to improve the nation’s infrastructure, with moderates wanting to vote on a bill that passed with votes from both parties through the Senate. But progressives want to wait until another bill with multiple social welfare programs passed through a process called reconciliation is finalized.
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