By Michael O’Brien, Political Reporter, NBC News

 

The House of Representatives authorized a suspension of the nation’s debt limit through mid-May, delaying a default on the government’s obligations that would have taken effect in February.

The House of Representatives has passed the extension of the US debt limit to May 19 with a vote of 285 to 144. The measure moves on to the Senate for final passage. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

The GOP-controlled House voted 285 to 144 to comfortably pass a three-month extension in the government’s borrowing authority just as Senate Democratic leaders suggested they would take up and pass the legislation as soon as they could.

The vote early Wednesday afternoon by the House would forestall a default on the national debt. The Treasury Department had warned that the government would exhaust its authority to borrow to finance its existing obligations by the middle of February.

The bill, which Republican leaders unveiled last week, would suspend the debt limit through May 18 and require both the House and the Senate to produce and pass a budget resolution in the meanwhile, with a deadline of April 15. If either chamber fails to pass a budget, its pay would be put into escrow – “No Budget, No Pay” goes the newly-minted Republican slogan to describe this strategy.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

 

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