House Passes Bill to Avert Debt Ceiling

Laura Joszt

Averting another fiscal crisis with the impending debt ceiling debate, the House passed a bill to temporarily suspend the ceiling - and they added a provision to dock lawmakers' pay if a budget blueprint isn't passed by Tax Day.

Taxpayers aren't the only ones on an April 15 deadline. A

s part of new legislation passed by the House, lawmakers have to pass a budget blueprint or face getting their pay docked.

After the stressful rollercoaster ride of watching Congress trying to pass a fiscal cliff deal by the deadline (which they technically missed by a few hours, anyway), the impending next fiscal fight had everyone concerned — and understandably so.

When Congress passed the fiscal cliff deal and President Obama signed it into law on Jan. 2, 2013, nothing had been done about spending or the debt ceiling, which the country was all set to hit again.

However, instead of waiting until the last minute, the House voted to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling until May 18. Initially, Republicans were insisting that the legislation include dollar-for-dollar spending cuts, according to The New York Times, but eventually backed down on that issue.

What the measure did include was a provision regarding the pay of Congress members. One of the chambers of Congress has to pass a budget blueprint by April 15 or lawmakers will find their pay docked. However, the legislation does not require that the House and the Senate come to a compromise on their blueprints. Considering the House is ruled by a Republican majority and the Senate by a Democratic one, the blueprints passed by the chambers are likely to be very different.

The Times reported:

“House Republicans say punting the debt ceiling to May 18 is not so much a retreat as a “reordering” of the coming budget showdowns. House Republicans now take for granted that the first deadline, March 1, will come and go, and $110 billion in across-the-board spending cuts to defense and domestic programs will go into force.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the nation won’t have to witness another “knock-down, drag-out fight," implying that the Senate will be able to pass the bill when it reaches their floor in a few days.

The middle class has been telling us they do not want another crisis, and this bill gives them the security they deserve,” Reid said in a statement.

The legislation passed in the House with 199 Republicans and 86 Democrats for a total of 285 for the bill and 33 Republicans and 111 Democrats (a total of 144) against.

Read more:

House Votes to Extend Debt Limit to May, Averting FightThe New York Times

House Passes Debt Ceiling BillBusiness Insider