US Senate passes debt ceiling deal to avert government default

US Senate passes debt ceiling deal to avert government default
# 02 June 2023 09:00 (UTC +04:00)

On Thursday, the US Senate passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act, known colloquially as the "debt ceiling deal", APA reports citing Sputnik.

The deal was passed 63 to 36, with 60 affirmative votes being the threshold.

Its passing comes just in time, as the US faced a default by June 5 (at the earliest) if a deal could not be reached. The Senate voted on the bill just a day after the US House of Representatives cleared the deal handed over to them by President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy.

"America can breathe a sigh of relief, a sigh of relief, because in this process, we are avoiding default," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said before voting. "From the start, avoiding default has been our North Star."

"The deal the House passed last night is a promising step toward fiscal sanity," added House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell while on the Senate floor. "But make no mistake: there is much more work to be done. The fight to reel in wasteful spending is far from over."

US Senators reportedly came to an agreement after they voted on 11 proposed amendments from members of both parties, with all 11 failing.

"Any change to this bill that forces us to send it back to the House would be entirely unacceptable. It would almost guarantee default," said Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) told reporters on Thursday.

One of the failed amendments reportedly included Senator Tim Kaine's (D-VA) attempt to strip Senator Joe Manchin's (D-WV) Mountain Valley Pipeline deal, a controversial project that pipe methane gas through West Virginia and Virginia. Despite the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruling that the project will violate the Clean Water Act, Congress has moved in with an iron fist.

After hearing that the deal he had brokered with McCarthy had passed, President Biden made a remark via Twitter.

"Just now, Senators from both parties voted to protect our hard-earned economic progress and prevent a first-ever default," Biden wrote. "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."

"Our work is far from finished, but I look forward to signing this bill into law as soon as possible and addressing the American people directly tomorrow."

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