US debt ceiling deal clears first procedural hurdle

Washington, May 31 (IANS): A hard-line Republican revolt could not prevent legislation to raise the US debt ceiling from clearing its first procedural hurdle in the House of Representatives.

The two parties finally reached a deal late Tuesday evening after a showdown lasting months, then weeks of painstaking negotiations, reports the BBC.

Now the two leaders -- Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy -- must sell their weekend agreement to their members of Congress.

They believe that even with some defections on the left and right, they have the votes to pass a bill before the deadline, CNN reported.

The Treasury has moved the day the US would hit its borrowing limit to June 5.

For the moment financial markets appear to have calmed as the prospect recedes of the global economic chaos that would result from the world's biggest economy defaulting on its $31.4 trillion debt, the BBC reported.

That could quickly change, however, if the multi-step process for approving the debt-limit agreement is derailed or otherwise blocked in the days ahead.

The deal introduces new federal spending limits and restrictions on low-income aid programmes in exchange for a debt-limit increase.

The debt ceiling is a spending limit set by Congress which determines how much money the government can borrow, the BBC reported.

Failure to raise it beyond the current cap of roughly $31.4 trillion by June could result in the US defaulting on its debt.

That would mean the government could not borrow any more money or pay all of its bills.

It would also threaten to wreak havoc on the global economy, affecting prices and mortgage rates in other countries.



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Title: US debt ceiling deal clears first procedural hurdle

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