Immediately following the Senate's vote to pass healthcare reform legislation, the upper chamber approved a temporary increase to the nation's debt limit.
The $290 billion increase would extend the government's
ability to borrow for approximately two months. The increase is
necessary with the federal debt approaching its current $12.1 trillion
ceiling. The debt ceiling now rests at $12.4 trillion.
The House passed the $290 billion short-term increase last week.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) struck an agreement to hold the Christmas Eve vote this week. The two leaders also agreed to hold a vote on a long-term debt limit increase on Jan. 20.