WASHINGTON (OfficialWire) — Congress passed must-do legislation Thursday to permit the government to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars more to meet its obligations, averting a first-ever government default that had loomed as early as mid-February.
The 64-34 vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate sent the measure to President Barack Obama, who has said he will sign it. The Republican-led House passed the legislation last week.
The legislation would temporarily suspend the $16.4 trillion limit on federal borrowing, which experts say would allow the government to borrow about $450 billion to meet interest payments and obligations like Social Security benefits and government salaries.
The deadline for Congress to act again to prevent default would likely not come until August, according to calculations by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank.