President Obama signed a bill Monday night suspending the federal debt ceiling, a measure that will allow the government to temporarily avoid default until August.
But the bill foreshadows another tough budget battle to come.The legislation will allow the government to borrow around $450 billion to meet interest payments and continue distributing government salaries and benefits, including Social Security. But with the suspension set to expire in mere months, the president and congressional Republicans are likely to again engage in a high-stakes negotiations over the government’s budget and borrowing abilities.
To garner Republican support, the bill includes a provision that would suspend lawmakers’ pay if the chamber they serve in failed to produce a budget. The provision was a nod to Republican complaints that the Senate has operated under continuing resolution in recent years, last passing a budget in April 2009.The Republican bill passed 285-144 in the House and 64-34 in the Democratically-controlled Senate.