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Congress votes to raise debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion

United State capitol in Washington, D.C. © iStock - Muni Yogeshwaran
By Casey Harper | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to raise the debt ceiling $2.5 trillion, a move that would avoid a default on the nation's debt payments likely until 2023, beyond the midterm elections.

The 50-49 vote along party lines sent the measure to the U.S. House of Representatives, where it passed on a vote of 221-209, with one Republican voting with all the Democrats. 

The bill now goes to President Joe Biden, who is expected to sign it into law.

The Treasury Department had told Congress the nation would be unable to pay its creditors if the ceiling was not raised by Wednesday.

"The resolution we will vote on will provide for raising of the debt limit to a level commensurate with funding necessary to get into 2023," Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Tuesday. "As I have said repeatedly, this is about paying debt accumulated by both parties."

Republicans refused to vote for the increase and criticized Democrats after the vote. Earlier this month, some Republicans did vote to allow a one-time removal of the filibuster so the debt ceiling vote could pass.