Senate Advances Debt Ceiling Deal

( Last Thursday night, the Senate voted to raise the debt ceiling by about $480 billion – the amount the Treasury Department said would keep the US from default until early December.

While no Republicans voted to approve the legislation, eleven Republicans did vote to end debate on the measure avoiding a filibuster and bringing the measure to a vote.

Republicans who voted for cloture were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, John Thune of South Dakota, John Cornyn of Texas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Rob Portman of Ohio, Susan Collins of Maine, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Mike Rounds of South Dakota.

The final vote on the bill was 50 to 48 – with only Democrats voting in favor of the measure.

Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) accepted McConnell’s offer for a short-term increase compromise after Democrats refused to use special budget reconciliation rules that bypass the 60-vote threshold to end debate and allow for a simple 51-vote majority.

McConnell’s compromise created some frustration among Senate Republicans. Senator Lindsey Graham described the move as “capitulation.” Senator Ted Cruz argued that the Democrats had been on “a path to surrender” until “Republicans blinked.”

Thursday night, Senator Graham told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Republicans promised the American people that they wouldn’t help the Democrats raise the debt ceiling, and “at the end of the day, we blinked.”

Graham told Hannity that Senate Republicans not only let the people down, they also convinced the Democrats that “we’re all talk and no action.”

Former President Trump also appeared on Hannity Thursday night where he blasted McConnell and accused him of giving the Democrats a “lifeline.” Slamming McConnell for giving Democrats much-needed time, Trump told Hannity “He had the weapon and he was unable to use it.”

The victory for Democrats will be short-lived, however. The agreement means that Congress will once again have to wage a battle over the debt ceiling just before the holiday season. They have until December 3 to pass a long-term increase to the debt ceiling as well as send through another spending measure to avert a government shutdown.

The temporary debt ceiling measure won’t be signed by President Biden until it is approved in the House which is expected to vote on it on October 12.