Senate sinks debt-ceiling disapproval bill

In a 45-52 vote Thursday night, the Senate failed to advance a resolution that would have disapproved of a pending $500 billion increase in the nations debt ceiling.

Under the debt-ceiling agreement reached in early August, the Obama administration was authorized to immediately raise the debt ceiling by $400 billion. Another $500 billion increase was authorized this month, although that could have been blocked if both the House and Senate approved resolutions expressing disapproval.

Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to hold the Senate open for up to 10 hours Friday to dispose of the resolution if it moved forward. 

The Senate resolution, S.J.Res. 25, was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and had 24 co-sponsors. 

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 On Thursday morning, McConnell suggested senators could use the vote as a way to respond to President Obamas jobs speech to a joint session of Congress, in which he presented a proposal that he said would stimulate the  American economy.

After the presidents speech tonight calling for more stimulus spending, the Senate will vote on his request for an additional $500 billion increase in the debt ceiling, McConnell said. So senators will have an opportunity to vote for or against this type of approach right away.

A House Republican resolution has also been introduced, H.J.Res. 77, that has the potential to pass if most Republicans decide to support it. Still, House passage would not be enough to stop the $500 billion increase in the debt ceiling, as the Senate resolution was voted down.

The House resolution, from Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), has 49 co-sponsors, all Republicans.

The House and Senate resolutions are identical, and read:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves of the Presidents exercise of authority to increase the debt limit, as exercised pursuant to the certification under section 3101A(a) of title 31, United States Code.

The Senate adjourned at 8.31 p.m. Thursday and is set to return at 9:45 a.m. Friday.