Federal Relations

February 12, 2014

Senate Passes House Bill to Raise Debt Ceiling

With an impending snow storm as a powerful motivator, the Senate passed the House’s bill to suspend the debt ceiling until March 15, 2015 by a vote of 55-42.

Earlier this week, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas vowed to filibuster the measure since the House Republicans “caved to President Obama” and were unable extract to any spending cuts or other concessions to pass the bill. Such a filibuster could have caused a repeat of last Fall’s government shutdown.

However, much of the Senate’s inclination to stand tough went by the wayside as 5 plus inches of snow have been forecasted for the DC region. Both chambers of Congress have been eager to get out of town this afternoon given the storm hitting the eastern seaboard and the amount of snow that’s expected to fall in the Washington area.

The Senate voted 67-31 to end a debate on the legislation or end any filibuster threatened by Senator Cruz. The vote took nearly an hour, but cleared the way to a vote on final passage with a simple majority threshold. A dozen Republicans voted with Democrats to end the filibuster after the Senate Republican Leadership McConnell and Cornyn led the way. Republicans joining Democrats included, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and John Thune of South Dakota.

Both Washington Senators Murray and Cantwell voted to end the debate and voted for the suspension of the debt ceiling.