WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives voted today to approve a three-month extension of the debt limit in a bill that concurrently pressures lawmakers to adopt a budget or have their pay withheld.
The vote passed by a count of 285-144. Thirty-three Republicansopposed the measure, while 86 Democrats voted to approve it, sending the legislation to the Senate where it is also expected to pass, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
"I'm pleased that Speaker Boehner's House colleagues have decided to change course and pass a bill that defuses yet another fight over the debt ceiling," Reid, D-Nev., said. "In substance, it's a clean debt limit increase."
The bill, known as the No Budget No Pay Act of 2013, directs both chambers of Congress to adopt a budget resolution for fiscal year 2014 by April 15, 2013. If either body fails to pass a budget, members of that body would have their paychecks put into an escrow account starting on April 16 until that body adopts a budget. Any pay that is withheld would eventually be released at the end of the current Congress even if a budget doesn't ever pass.
Democrats also pledged today to pass a budget in the Senate this year. The Senate has not passed a budget resolution since April 29, 2009.