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U.S. Congress Raises Debt Ceiling, Avoiding Default Until 2023

The House and Senate voted this morning to increase the federal debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, allowing the U.S. government to avoid default until early 2023, according to government officials. The vote was made just hours before the deadline that the U.S. government risked breaching its debt limit, said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

The final vote tally was 221-209, with one Republican voting with all the Democrats. "As I have said repeatedly, this is about paying debt accumulated by both parties, so I am pleased Republicans and Democrats came together to facilitate a process that has made addressing the debt ceiling possible," Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said Tuesday, CBS News reported.

Although, some government officials have criticized what they call "reckless spending" from the Biden administration, saying it will push the U.S. further into debt. The nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better social spending plan has already passed through the House and is waiting on Senate votes. However, spending is spread out over a decade. Because of this, Wells Fargo Chief Economist Jay Bryson does not expect the spending packages to have a harsh impact on the U.S. economy.

"These are big number we're talking about," Bryson acknowledged in the Wells Fargo Annual Economic Outlook. "But remember, this is spread out over ten years, so these infrastructure spending packages can boost economic growth and inflation at the margin but we don't expect it to cause runaway inflation by themselves."

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Saturday, 22 January 2022