The House easily passed a deal to increase the nation’s debt limit Monday evening, setting up a Senate vote Tuesday to avert a historic default by the U.S. government.
The bipartisan 269-161 vote came after months of often ugly partisan bickering and will likely mean Washington will not have to raise the limit again until after the 2012 elections.
The bill now goes to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to hold a vote Tuesday. That chamber is also expected to clear the bill on a bipartisan basis, sending it to President Barack Obama for his signature just hours before the day’s end, when the Treasury Department estimates that the nation would otherwise begin defaulting on its debts.
A Statement of Administration Policy released Monday evening expressed strong support for the bill, saying the president would sign it into law if it reaches his desk.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.