Congress Passes Temporary Debt Limit Suspension

Spending spree!


The Senate on Thursday sent President Obama legislation suspending the government's statutory borrowing limit until May, accepting a House Republican demand that Senate Democrats produce a budget plan this spring in exchange for a debt limit reprieve that included no spending cuts.

The 64-to-34 vote ended for now a showdown that had threatened the full faith and credit of the United States government. The Treasury Department has been shuffling federal accounts for a month to make sure it could pay interest to its creditors even after the government officially breached its borrowing limit. By mid-February, the Obama administration warned, the Treasury would have exhausted such "extraordinary measures" and would have been forced to default for the first time.