President Obama’s request for another debt-ceiling hike may lead some to wonder why Washington is going through this all over again. Wasn’t this solved in August? Stan Collender explains:

The debt ceiling increase formally requested by the White House today is the third the Budget Control Act allows. The first occurred when the law was signed. The second went into effect in September when Congress failed to disapprove the request. Today’s $1.2 trillion request is the third...and largest...the law allows.

Congress now has 15 days to consider and, if it can muster the votes, disapprove the request. That may happen in the House but almost certainly won’t happen in the Senate. But even if the Senate went along, the president could/would/will veto the resolution and, because there isn’t a two-thirds vote in either house to override the veto, the debt ceiling will be raised...

To accommodate the GOP congressional leadership, which wanted to give its members a chance to vote on a disapproval resolution even though it had virtually no chance of actually being disapproved, the White House delayed its request until today. To do that, Treasury had to resort to some of the cash management gimmicks congressional Republicans have criticized in the past such as taking funds out of the Exchange Stabilization Fund.