The House will consider H.R. 3746, The Fiscal Responsibility Act (“debt limit agreement”), today as scheduled. Last night the House Rules Committee reported a closed rule for consideration of the bill on a narrow 7-6 vote, meaning no amendments were made in order.
The House will meet at 2:00 p.m. today for consideration of the rule.We expect votes on the previous question (PQ) and adoption of the rule to occur at approximately 3:30 p.m. Though rules are traditionally party-line votes, House Republicans will need Democratic support to achieve 218 votes. These two mid-afternoon procedural votes will be an early indicator of tonight’s vote on the overall agreement.
Following adoption of the rule, the House will recess until 7:15 p.m. As a reminder, House Republicans are strictly adhering to their self-imposed “72 Hour Rule,” meaning consideration of the debt limit agreement cannot begin until 72 hours after the bill was made publicly available (in this case, Sunday at 7:15 p.m.).
When the House reconvenes at 7:15 p.m., it will immediately move to consideration of the debt limit agreement. The rule provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Ways & Means Committee. Democrats, or an opponent of the bill, will be allowed to offer one motion to recommit (i.e., a single amendment) prior to the vote on final passage of the agreement. We expect the House to vote on the motion to recommit and final passage of the debt limit agreement from approximately 8:30 – 9:15 p.m. this evening.
Following House passage, the bill will be sent to the Senate, at which point Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will begin the chamber’s procedural steps for processing the bill. Since the House originated a new bill, unanimous consent (UC) will be required to pass the debt limit agreement before the June 5 default deadline.
As a result, the bipartisan Leadership will seek to negotiate a time agreement to expedite consideration of the bill in exchange for votes on several amendments possibly including the “Penny Plan” (Sen. Rand Paul), the Full Faith and Credit Act (Sen. Rick Scott), and a motion to strike the Mountain Valley Pipeline (Sen. Tim Kaine). Conversations about amendments will take place today and tomorrow during the respective internal Democratic and Republican policy lunches.
While any one Senator could drag out consideration for several days, we expect a UC agreement to be reached, paving the way for the Senate to pass the bipartisan debt limit agreement as soon as Friday or over the weekend.