The U.S. Senate has approved legislation that suspends the trillion-dollar debt ceiling while also slashing federal spending.
The bipartisan approval now goes to the president for approval.
“No one gets everything they want in a negotiation, but make no mistake: This bipartisan agreement is a big win for our economy and the American people.”
The bill needed 60 votes to pass and in the vote received 46 Democratic votes and 17 Republican votes, the Associated Press reports.
“Democrats are feeling very good tonight,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “We’ve saved the country from the scourge of default.”
Republican member Sen. John Barrasso said he opposed the bill, saying it did not “do enough to match the seriousness of the moment and the dangerous debt crisis our country is facing.”
The House previously approved a measure last week, with both Democrats and Republicans voting in favor.
The approved bill suspends the debt ceiling through Jan. 1, 2025, cuts some domestic programs and imposes a 3 percent cap on increases for military spending in the fiscal year 2024.
The bill also earmarks $45 billion for a program for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits. It also ends a three-year freeze on student loan payments. Energy and infrastructure projects will be expedited under the bill. Finally, the bill raises the age to 54, at which low-income adults must work to receive food aid.
The bill does not make any changes to Medicare and Social Security.
According to reports, the bill cuts government deficits by about $1.5 trillion over 10 years.
“We would be fools to allow this to happen again,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). “Although this one ended well, it got pretty scary, and we really shouldn’t trust ourselves with these debt-limit votes.” Asked about the bill, Whitehouse said: “Beats the crap out of default.”
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.