Senate rejects attempt to prevent debt ceiling hike

Story highlights

  • Senate rejects measure that would have prevented a $1.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling
  • The House passed the measure last week
  • The measure had virtually no chance of becoming law
  • Republicans demanded a vote on the bill as part of August's debt ceiling agreement
The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate on Thursday rejected a measure that would have prevented a $1.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling, putting an end to legislative debate on the politically contentious issue until after the November presidential election.
A procedural motion to move forward with the bill was rejected in a largely party-line 44-52 vote. The measure, approved by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives last week, had little chance of either passing Congress or surviving a certain presidential veto. It was considered a largely symbolic gesture on the part of Republicans.
Congress' decision to hold the vote was part of a deal reached to ensure passage of the contentious debt ceiling agreement in August. The mechanism of holding so-called votes of disapproval was demanded by Republicans to provide political cover for their needed support in passing the debt ceiling bill to avoid a possible government default on its obligations.
The latest debt ceiling increase was the last of three requests authorized by the August agreement, and is expected to provide enough money to satisfy U.S. debt obligations for most of the remainder of the year.
The House also voted in September to disapprove a previous request to raise the debt ceiling by $500 billion. The Senate, however, approved that increase.