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House Republicans will vote tonight on a bill to raise the current $14.3 trillion federal debt ceiling by another $2.4 trillion, according to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Though the government hit the debt ceiling on May 16, it still has buffer time until August 2 to avoid defaulting on its payment obligations. However, smooth execution of the bill to raise the debt ceiling depends on the outcome of tonight’s vote.
The bill needs a two-thirds majority to pass. That implies that out of the total 432 House members, 288 votes in favor of raising the debt ceiling would be necessary to pass the bill. After Republicans won the House majority in the November 2010 midterms, there are only 192 Democrats in the House. Hence, if all House Democrats vote to elevate the debt ceiling, another 96 Republicans’ votes would be required to pass the bill.
With no spending cuts mentioned in the bill, it is most certain that the debt ceiling raise will not get the required number of votes.