Senate Votes to Temporarily Raise Debt Ceiling by $480 Billion

The Senate late Thursday voted to approve a short-term increase to the federal debt ceiling by $480 billion through Dec. 3.

The debt ceiling already stands at $28.4 trillion and the bill would lift the debt limit to $28.9 trillion.

The bill heads to the House, where there is a clear Democratic majority, before moving to President Joe Biden’s desk. House lawmakers could consider the measure by as early as next week.

The measure is likely to avert a government default that was forecasted by the Treasury Department to happen by around Oct. 18.

The final Senate vote, which required a simple majority, was 50–48 along party lines. Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) didn’t vote.

The bill was moved to a final vote after 11 Republicans joined Democrats in a vote to invoke cloture in a vote of 61–38, ending a filibuster that required 60 votes.

The 11 were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that any default on U.S. debt would bring the economy into crisis and trigger a recession.

McConnell had proposed a deal with Democrats on Oct. 6 that would suspend the debt ceiling before a government default.

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced, “Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game, and I am glad that their brinksmanship did not work.”

Check back for updates.

Mimi Nguyen Ly

Mimi Nguyen Ly



Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter based in Australia. She covers world news with a focus on U.S. news. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in optometry and vision science from the University of New South Wales. Contact her at

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