The U.S. Senate voted 63-36 in favor of a crucial debt-ceiling bill on Thursday night, sending the measure to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act, which the Republican-run House of Representatives approved on Wednesday night in a 314-117 vote, raises the ceiling for federal borrowing and avoids a market-shaking government default while imposing some limits on spending.
Congress has been racing to approve the bipartisan legislation to meet a Monday deadline from the Treasury Department, and investors have been tracking the drama closely.
Biden said he’ll sign the bill into law without delay and indicated he’ll give a speech Friday.
“I look forward to signing this bill into law as soon as possible and addressing the American people directly tomorrow,” the president said in a statement after the Senate’s vote.
Earlier on Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said his chamber would pass the debt-limit bill in a matter of hours after voting on 11 proposed amendments.
“I am pleased, so pleased, to announce that both sides have just locked in an agreement that enables the Senate to pass legislation tonight avoiding default,” the New York Democrat said in a floor speech.
Schumer said the Senate first would vote on 10 Republican amendments and one Democratic amendment, and then the chamber would move on to “immediately considering final passage — and by passing this bill, we will avoid default tonight.” None of the amendments ended up finding sufficient support.
In the vote for the debt-limit bill, there was support from 46 senators who are Democrats or who typically vote with Democrats, while five senators from that caucus opposed it. Among Republicans, 17 senators backed the measure, while 31 voted against it.
In August 2011, lawmakers approved a hike for the debt limit just hours before a potential government default, and the U.S. then lost its triple-A credit rating from S&P, sparking a stock-market SPX, +0.99% plunge during that month.