With the strong bipartisan vote in the House last night providing some momentum, the hope and growing expectation is that the Senate will be able to obtain unanimous consent (UC) of all 100 Senators to set a handful of amendment votes and then expedite consideration and passage of the debt limit bill by sometime tomorrow (Friday). Precise timing of all depends upon how long it takes to reach a UC agreement, which is necessary given the procedural obstacles that would otherwise extend debate on the legislation past Monday’s projected “X-date.”
Contrary to much of the public reporting, we expect that most amendments will be voted on at a simple majority threshold (rather than a 60 vote threshold). Which amendments receive votes still remains subject to ongoing negotiation, but could include various amendments to cut discretionary spending; an amendment to increase Defense spending; a motion to strike the Mountain Valley Pipeline authorization; and various other policy related amendments that could touch on a wide range of subject matter.
While some of the amendments to be voted on likely will not be close votes, it is possible that a few could be. Leader Schumer has made clear that his goal is to ensure that no amendments are adopted, as changing the text of the House-passed bill would necessitate sending it back to the House for further action, which could imperil the Biden/McCarthy deal as well as timely completion of the debt limit increase.