The House late Tuesday passed legislation that paves the way for Congress to raise the debt limit in the coming days — and prevent an unprecedented federal default — by allowing Democrats to circumvent a GOP filibuster in the Senate.

Lawmakers adopted the measure along party lines, 222-212, with just one Republican joining all Democrats in support, as part of a deal struck earlier in the day by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and his GOP counterpart Mitch McConnell (Ky.).

The highly contortionist procedural strategy will empower Senate Democrats to raise the debt ceiling in a subsequent bill without a single Republican vote, while liberating GOP senators to oppose that increase in the Treasury’s borrowing authority — a toxic idea in some conservative circles, particularly under a Democratic president — without contributing to an economy-crushing government default.

Tuesday’s vote came just over a week before a Dec. 15 deadline, when the Treasury Department has warned Congress it will exhaust its borrowing powers and be forced to skip some of its financial obligations. The procedural language allowing Democrats to raise the debt limit by a simple majority is part of a bill that also averts automatic cuts faced by physicians and other medical providers under Medicare.... Read More: The Hill