<p>U.S. House of Representatives passes "no budget, no pay" debt ceiling bill</p>

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a controversial debt ceiling suspension bill on Wednesday by a thin margin of 284-144, which sends the measure into the upper chamber, where it appears to be smooth sailing as the Democrats have a slim majority in the U.S. Senate and wield most of the committee gavels. 

The bill suspends the debt ceiling entirely as opposed to simply raising it above its current level. On May 18, when the new law expires, Congress will simply raise the legal limit to meet the amount that the U.S. government has borrowed.

While some had expected a tough debate in the Senate, statements by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada following yesterday’s vote suggested that the debate might be relatively simple in the upper chamber.

“I’m very glad that [House Republicans] are going to send us a clean debt-ceiling bill,” he remarked during a press conference on Wednesday.

The Obama administration has been more aloof about the measure. Jay Carney, the president’s press secretary, told reporters on Tuesday that the White House would not veto it if the Senate passes it as well.

However, there is another complication: the so-called “no budget, no pay” provision. In theory, this rule would stop the paychecks in both the House and the Senate after April 15 until a budget plan is passed and signed into law. Money earned by Congressional members will be placed into escrow accounts, and once a budget has been approved they will receive these funds.

Some lawmakers complained earlier this week that the measure would run afoul of the U.S. Constitution, which explicitly bars Congress from adjusting its pay rate for the current session. However, House leaders stress that they’re only changing the date, not the amount.

These measures could lead to more political gridlock as the budgeting process – which hasn’t been completed since 2009 – kicks into high gear. Investors should look for troubling signs in both stock and equity markets and adjust their portfolios accordingly to promote wealth preservation and risk-reducing hedges. For more information and updates, visit GreatWealthStrategies.com today.