Obama Signs The Debt Ceiling Bill, Ending The Debt-Limit Fight Until At Least August

Barack Obama

Photo: AP

President Barack Obama signed the “No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013” into law Monday night, the White House said, officially suspending the nation’s debt limit through May 18. The bill also suspends pay for members of Congress if their chamber does not pass a budget resolution by April 15.The Senate had passed the debt ceiling bill last week, and the House passed it the week before. The two chambers passed the bill along different lines. The House saw fairly strong bipartisan support for the bill. But in the Senate, it passed largely on partisan lines. Republican Senators said they voted against it because of a lack of spending cuts that accompanied the debt-limit increase.

The debt-ceiling bill is not technically a clean hike in the nation’s debt limit. It’s a suspension of the debt ceiling for a certain time period. On May 19, the debt limit will be raised by an amount “necessary to fund commitment incurred by the Federal Government that required payment.”

The Bipartisan Policy centre estimates that number will be around $450 billion. The BPC also estimates that the next point the nation will need to raise the debt limit will come in August.

The next budget fight will come with the looming sequester of vast, across-the-board spending cuts set to kick in on March 1. 

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