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On Jan. 31, the U.S. Senate approved a measure 64-34 to suspend the $16.4 trillion limit on federal borrowing, following its passage last week by the Republican-led House of Representatives.

The bill will now give the White House and congressional negotiators more time to work on a longer debt-ceiling extension and other battles tied to reducing federal deficits – in particular the automatic sequestration spending cuts set to hit in early March and another stopgap spending bills needed by the end of March to prevent a partial government shutdown.

“Congress will continue to work to reduce the deficit. But we’ll do it without the threat of default over our heads,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) before the vote.

The bill will now go to President Obama, who has said he will sign it, averting a situation in which the government may have defaulted on its debt this month. The bill also requires both chambers to pass a budget by April 15 or risk losing their pay.

Posted in: Washington News
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