PROMO Government - Capitol Washington DC United States - iStock - Luka Banda

Senate passes debt limit deal, sends it to Biden

© iStock - Luka Banda
Casey Harper

(The Center Square) – The U.S. Senate voted 63-36 late Thursday to pass the debt limit deal brokered by President Joe Biden and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

“We may be a little tired, but we did it,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said after the vote. 

The legislation suspends the nation's debt limit until January 1, 2025, notably after the 2024 presidential election; caps non-defense spending but also limits defense spending increases; and expands work requirements for some of those receiving food stamps, among other things.

Many Republicans wanted steeper cuts to raise the debt ceiling. They point to rampant inflation, which is fueled by federal debt spending. The national debt is on pace to hit $32 trillion this year.

"Reckless spending got us into this mess, and this debt limit deal missed the mark to curb Washington’s habits," said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. "We simply didn’t get enough in return for the new debt we’ll incur as a result of this deal."

Biden is expected to sign the "Fiscal Responsibility Act" before June 5, the deadline given by the U.S. Treasury when the federal government risks defaulting on its debt obligations.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted earlier this week to pass the deal 314-117 in favor, with dozens of Republicans and some Democrats voting against. McCarthy saw a flurry of Republican defections and may have risked his leadership position to pass the bill.

"Results," he tweeted after the Senate vote. "Leaders Schumer & McConnell committed to pass all 12 appropriations bills on time this year—for the 1st time since 2005—under pressure of an auto spending cut I included in the debt limit agreement. Ending the era of the omnibus & getting Washington back to work!"