In a 64-34 vote, the Senate gave its blessing to a House bill that suspends the debt ceiling until May 19, when the Treasury Department will need to use “extraordinary measures” to keep paying the nation’s bills.
Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Dean Heller (Nev.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Richard Shelby (Ala.), John Thune (S.D.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.) voted with the Democratic caucus to pass the legislation. Two Democrats — Sens. John Kerry (Mass.) and Patty Murray (Wash.) — missed the vote.
The bill allows Treasury to borrow what ever sum is necessary to keep the U.S. from going over the debt ceiling until May 19. Unless Congress acts again, Treasury on that date will add what ever it has spent to the nation’s current $16.4 trillion ceiling.
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