"But default for the United States of America is not an option," he added. "At the very least this bill averts that outcome by paying our bills through 2013, which will bring certainty to a struggling economy that badly needs it."

Like other Democrats, Hoyer criticized conservative Republicans for allowing the vote to come down to the wire.

"We are only at this point because the far right wing, for the first time in American history, has chosen to hold our economy hostage in order to enact a radical ideological agenda far out of step for the majority of Americans," Hoyer said.

But still, he urged members to "vote not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans" in support of the bill.