Votes on Measures to Adjust the Statutory Debt Limit, 1978 to Present [Updated January 6, 2022]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Introduction: "Almost all borrowing by the federal government is conducted by the Treasury Department, within the restrictions established by a single, statutory limit (ceiling) on the total amount of debt that may be outstanding at any time. By law, the Treasury cannot exceed federal debt limits, so the Treasury periodically has had to ask Congress to enact new debt limits so it can fulfill its financial commitments. Since 1978, 61 measures adjusting or suspending the statutory debt limit either as stand-alone legislation or as part of legislation dealing with other matters have been enacted into law. Most recently, the President signed P.L. [Public Law] 117-73 on December 16, 2021. The stand-alone legislation increased the federal debt limit by $2.5 trillion. In the 117th Congress, one prior measure, P.L. 117-50, was also enacted into law on October 14, 2021, which increased the federal debt limit by $480 billion. [...] This report provides tallies of votes on final passage for each enacted measure that adjusted or suspended the statutory debt limit from 1978 to present. Note that because the process for congressional consideration of bills can be complex, attempting to interpret the intent of votes prior to the final vote on passage of a measure may yield various, and sometimes conflicting, interpretations. For the sake of clarity, this report only provides vote information on the final passage of each measure."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41814
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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