The Senate on Thursday sent a bill allowing Congress to raise the debt ceiling by a simple majority vote to President Joe Biden's desk, as the United States faces the risk of defaulting on its debt by next week. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a measure moving Congress one step closer to raising the debt ceiling.
Lawmakers voted 59-34 in favor of the plan by Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnel, R-Ky., to allow Democrats to raise the debt ceiling through a majority vote.
The measure will now go to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature after the House approved it in a 222-212 vote Tuesday.
Schumer called the measure a "crucial" step to "avoiding the prospect of a catastrophic, calamitous default on our sovereign debt."
"This is the responsible path forward -- no brinksmanship, no default on the debt, no risk of another recession," Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday. "We still have a few more steps to take before we completely resolve this matter, but I'm optimistic that after today's vote, we'll be on a glide path to avoid a catastrophic default."
Both the House and Senate plan to pass another bill in the next few days to raise the debt limit and prevent the United States from defaulting on its more than $29 trillion in loans by Dec. 15.
The agreement allows Democrats to raise the debt ceiling through a majority vote, but only to a certain amount, rather than a specific date.
It also includes a measure to prevent billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare payments and agriculture subsidies that come as a result of the budget reconciliation process used by Democrats to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package in March.
Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Thursday. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo