The House is set to pass a bill later today that would put the $16.4 trillion debt limit on pause through May 18, so the government can continue operating without facing a likely default. The measure stipulates that the Senate pass its first budget in four years as a starting point -- not an end point -- for resolving partisan differences over spending cuts, entitlement reform and taxes.


Their strategy doesn't technically raise the debt ceiling, since the bill only suspends applying the limit for four months. It creates the appearance of accountability by saying that senators wouldn't receive their paychecks if they haven't passed a budget by April 15. And without any kind of action on the debt ceiling, the country risks default as early as the middle of February.

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