After Democrats and Republican leaders reached a short-term arrangement that prevented a looming default for now but sets up another showdown within months, the Senate voted along party lines to extend the US borrowing limit until December.
The decisive moment came earlier in the evening, when 11 republicans joined all 50 Democrats in a vote to break the 60-vote filibuster threshold and move the bill on to final passage, which passed 50 to 48 with two republicans absent.
The bill, which was based on a proposal made by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Wednesday and accepted by majority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on Thursday morning, will increase the country's borrowing limit by $480 billion, the amount the Treasury Department says is required to meet the country's cash needs until December 3rd.
The bill now moves to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced in a letter to colleagues that she would summon them back from recess early if necessary to vote on it. The law will be signed by Biden, according to the White House.
Rather than forcing Democrats to cross the 60-vote hurdle that has been a perennial roadblock in the 50-50 senate, Republican leaders made it clear that they prefer to enable them to go straight to a simple-majority vote. However, after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) refused to endorse the GOP leadership's plan, GOP leaders claimed they had gathered enough support to get the bill over the finish line.