Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
December 14, 2021

Democrats will vote today to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, which they expect will lift the nation’s borrowing cap until 2023.  Senate Democrats unveiled a resolution to raise the debt ceiling earlier today, shortly before they were scheduled to take a procedural vote on the measure, which passed on a party line vote, as part of a deal worked out with Senate Republican leadership that gives them a one-time exemption to raise the debt ceiling without needing to overcome a 60-vote filibuster. The House also could vote as soon as Tuesday as the Treasury Department, which has been taking such steps as suspending certain investments to conserve cash, has warned lawmakers that it could be unable to meet the country’s obligations as soon as Wednesday if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.  Final passage of the debt-ceiling increase through Congress will conclude weeks of work on the issue. In an effort to keep their political distance from the ceiling increase, Republicans negotiated the agreement allowing Senate Democrats to raise the borrowing limit along party lines, instead of with the 60 votes typically needed to advance legislation in the Senate.

The Senate also voted on the nomination of Samantha D. Elliott to be United States District Judge for the District of New Hampshire and voted on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to S.1605, the vehicle for NDAA, which passed 86-13, with a final vote expected this week.

The House reconvened today and is considering H.R. 5665 – Combating International Islamophobia Act which calls for the State Department to establish an office headed by a special envoy to be appointed by the president. The office would record instances of Islamophobia, including violence against and harassment of Muslims and vandalism of their mosques, schools and cemeteries worldwide, in reports created by the State Department.  The House is also considering a resolution Recommending that the House of Representatives Find Mark Randall Meadows in Contempt of Congress for Refusal to Comply with a Subpoena Duly Issued by the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.  The House Rules Committee voted 8-4 to advance the resolution to the House floor for debate and a vote, which is expected to happen this afternoon.  The January 6th committee revealed during Monday’s meeting texts between former President Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows and lawmakers, Fox News personalities, and Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., about the urgency for Trump to stop the siege.  Those texts, as several members of the committee noted, were already turned over to the committee and are not covered by any claim of privilege, which Meadows has continued to assert since reversing his decision to cooperate with the investigation.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.