The US Senate approved a deal to lift the debt ceiling yesterday, avoiding a traumatic federal default by a matter of days.
63 senators backed the proposals on Thursday night after the deal secured bipartisan support in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said ahead of voting that the Bill’s passage means “America can breathe a sigh of relief”.
The deal will now pass to President Biden’s desk. Biden has said he will sign the deal into law as soon as it arrives in the Oval Office. The President said the deal demonstrates “once more that America is a nation that pays its bills and meets its obligations – and always will be.”
The deal raises the debt ceiling until 2025, ensuring the Treasury can borrow to pay its debts. It puts in place spending restrictions on the government for the next two years and, among other measures, imposes new requirements on Americans using food aid.
It follows days of negotiations between Biden and congressional Republicans, who forced the White House into spending cuts on different issues for the next two years.
Biden and Kevin McCarthy, the Republican speaker of the House, agreed a deal on Sunday but faced difficulties in securing support from their respective parties.
A majority of Republicans voted against the deal, arguing it did not go far enough in bringing about spending cuts. Senator John Barrasso described it as a “missed opportunity to get government growth under control”.
Many Democrats were also disappointed with the outcome. Earlier in negotiations some had suggested using the 14th amendment – which states “the validity of the public debt…shall not be questioned – to pass the deal without congressional approval.
Reflecting the concerns, Biden said “no one gets everything they want in a negotiation, but make no mistake: this bipartisan agreement is a big win for our economy and the American people.”