Senate avoids U.S. debt crisis – for now

Washington DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — In a move to save the country from an economic catastrophe, Thursday night the Senate finally passed a plan to raise the debt ceiling.

Congress had until October 18th to resolve the looming financial crisis. With a credit downgrade looming and time running out, a vote of 50-48 along party lines lifted the debt ceiling by nearly a half-trillion dollars.

The deal that now moves to the House is a short term fix, however, and is set to expire in early December.

After previously blocking the plan, 11 Republicans came on board to allow a vote. But ultimately none of them backed the overall deal.

Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley explained his no-vote by saying, “I don’t want to spend money on welfare benefits for illegal aliens, I don’t want to spend money on tax increases for small businesses.”

But Democrats say the money has already been spent, and blamed Republicans for approving spending that now needs to be paid.

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed Republicans for refusing to help.

“Republicans played a dangerous and risky partisan game and I’m glad their brinksmanship did not work,” the New York senator said.

The short term fix now heads to the Democrat-controlled House where it’s certain to pass. Once finalized, the Treasury Department will continue to be able to pay its bills, which include Social Security benefits and paychecks for military troops.

“What we need now is a long term solution,” Schumer added.

He’s calling on Republicans to return to the table to pass a broader plan by December.

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