The Senate will vote on the debt ceiling deal Thursday night


WASHINGTON — The Senate will vote on the debt ceiling deal negotiated by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced.

Senators reached an agreement to pass the bill after voting down a series of 11 amendments from members of both parties who oppose the deal or parts of it. The deal is expected to close when the series ends. It needs 60 votes to pass and will then head to President Joe Biden’s office for his signature.

Biden must sign the bill by Monday to avoid a default, according to the Treasury Department.

Senate leaders worked throughout the day to reach an agreement on amendment votes, which would allow senators to record their colleagues on various issues related to the bill. The series of amendments that began at 7:30 p.m. ET, may take hours.

All 100 senators had to agree to speed up consideration of the measure, and votes on the amendment were intended to involve the entire chamber. If a senator objects, the final vote could have been delayed until Wednesday, two days after the deadline.

In addition to seeking amendments, Republicans had asked Schumer to commit to introducing all 12 government spending bills this year to avoid an across-the-board spending cut in the debt ceiling bill. They also wanted a commitment to enact supplemental funding legislation to increase defense spending and help Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

The Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to approve an increase in defense spending on its own.

The agreement to pass the debt ceiling bill came after negotiations between the two parties. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., was seen moving between a Republican luncheon and the Senate floor, where Democrats huddled earlier in the day. At one point he pulled Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., into a room just off the Senate floor to look over a piece of paper that he had.

By the end of the GOP luncheon, Republican senators said they expected Schumer to make those assurances and announce a deal.

Schumer opened the Senate floor Thursday morning by calling for quick passage of the bill.

“Time is a luxury the Senate does not have if we want to prevent bankruptcy. June 5 is less than four days away,” he said, adding that the Senate will remain in session until the bill is passed.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who called the bill a “deal from hell,” said he would file multiple amendments but would not suspend the deal “for the sake of suspending it.” The Senate will vote on an amendment he proposed.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., also succeeded in passing an amendment to repeal a provision that would have expedited the approval of a natural gas pipeline supported by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

Kaine engaged in what he called a “robust discussion” with Manchin about the provision at a Senate luncheon Wednesday and expressed anger that the White House didn’t warn him it would be in the deal.

“It’s slimy,” Kaine said. “It didn’t have to go to the debt ceiling bill. I mean, for God’s sake, does this company really feel it’s as important as the credit rating of the United States?’

The amendments are not expected to pass, as that would send the entire bill back to the House with little time to avoid a deadlock.

“At this point, any unnecessary delay or any last-minute delays would be an unnecessary and even dangerous risk,” Schumer warned Thursday. “And any change to this bill that forces us to send it back to the House would be completely unacceptable. It will almost guarantee default.”


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