Senate Approves Bill To Avert National Default, Sending It To Biden’s Desk

By The Hill
Posted on 06/01/23 | News Source: The Hill

The Senate on Thursday night capped four months of contentious debate and voted to send a compromise bill to President Biden’s desk that extends the government’s borrowing authority until January of 2025 and staves off a potential default next week. 

A large bipartisan majority of the Senate voted 63-36 to approve the bill, which passed the House on Wednesday night. 

The approval came after the Senate clinched an agreement to conduct a series of amendment votes on Thursday night and move directly to final passage. The normally slow-moving chamber raced through a dozen votes in just over three hours.

Senate conservatives such as Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined Republican defense hawks such as Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) in voting against the bill.  

Senate Democrats, meanwhile, weren’t happy about caps on non-defense discretionary spending, tougher work requirements for federal food assistance and approval of a controversial natural gas pipeline. A few, including Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) voted no on the measure, but the overwhelming majority of Democrats voted for the bill to avoid a default.  

“By passing this bill we will avoid default tonight. America can breathe a sigh of relief,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) declared on the Senate floor.  

“From the start, avoiding default has been our north star. The consequences of default would be catastrophic,” he said. “For all the ups and downs and twists and turns it took to get here, it is so good for this country that both parties have come together at last to avoid default.”