Speed Reads

crisis (temporarily) averted

Senate approves bill raising the debt ceiling until early December

With a 50-48 vote, the Senate on Thursday night approved a bill that raises the debt ceiling through early December. The measure now goes to the House, where Democratic leaders are expected to quickly call lawmakers back for a vote. 

The Treasury warned that if action wasn't taken by Oct. 18, the result could be catastrophic, with the United States defaulting on its debt for the first time. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) led the GOP resistance against raising the debt limit, but on Wednesday he relented and offered a deal that grants a reprieve until early December. 

Before the Senate voted, McConnell met with his Republican colleagues, who voiced their concerns with the way he handled the situation, Axios reports. McConnell was able to get 11 Republicans — primarily moderates and those about to retire — to vote in favor of taking up the bill, but the final vote was strictly along party lines. 

"Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad that their brinkmanship did not work," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. "What is needed now is a long-term solution so we don't go through this risky drama every few months."