WASHINGTON – The Senate approved on Wednesday a bill to raise the federal debt ceiling, averting a potential default on the nation’s obligations. The legislation, which passed with bipartisan support, allows the government to continue borrowing money to pay its bills until December of next year, ensuring that the nation can continue to meet its financial obligations.
The vote was seen as a significant victory for President Joe Biden, who had been calling for an increase in the debt ceiling to avoid a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt. The measure had been opposed by some Republicans who had called for spending cuts to accompany any increase in the limit.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who had opposed raising the debt ceiling, came under fire from hardliners in his party for not blocking the measure. Some members of his caucus accused him of compromising on core Republican principles and enabling Democrats to continue spending unchecked.
Despite the criticism, McCarthy defended his decision to allow the bill to go through, saying that the nation had a responsibility to pay its bills and prevent a catastrophic default. “We have an obligation to the American people to meet our financial obligations and ensure the stability of our economy,” he said in a statement.
The bill must still be signed into law by President Biden, who is expected to do so in the coming days. The measure will prevent the government from defaulting on its debt payments, while also allowing it to continue borrowing money to fund essential programs and services.
The passage of the bill comes as Democrats continue to push forward with their ambitious agenda, including a major infrastructure package and a plan to expand access to healthcare. The success of those efforts will depend in part on the nation’s ability to borrow money in order to fund the programs.
Analysts say that the nation’s debt is likely to continue rising in the coming years, as the government spends money to address major challenges like climate change and income inequality. With the Senate’s approval of the debt ceiling increase, however, the government has some breathing room to address those issues without the risk of defaulting on its debt.