Senate GOP blocks Dems on debt hike

Senate Republicans on Saturday blocked a bid by Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSuper-PAC targets Portman on trade Dem leader urges compromise on FCC set-top box plan Senate Dems introduce Iran sanctions extension MORE (D-Nev.) to extend the nation’s debt limit until after the 2014 midterm elections.

In an 53-45 vote, the Senate failed to win the 60 votes necessary to advance the debt-limit measure to a floor debate. The bill would increase the federal debt by an estimated $1.1 trillion.

Every Democrat supported the measure, though Reid switched his vote at the end to preserve the right to bring the motion up for another vote later.

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Republicans criticized the legislation as politically transparent. Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsThe Trail 2016: Words matter Lobbyists bolting Trump convention early GOP sen at convention: I'm not ruling out voting for Clinton MORE (Maine) and two other centrist GOP senators have instead proposed raising the debt-limit only until Jan. 31, 2014.

During the vote, a large number of Democratic senators huddled around Collins (R-Maine). Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiBig Oil makes a push for risky and reckless Arctic drilling GOP divided over 0M for climate fund Overnight Energy: House passes first Interior, EPA spending bill in seven years MORE (R-Alaska) and Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteKasich doesn't regret skipping convention Top GOP senator: Trump will have little effect on Senate races Hindu-American emerges as Trump mega-donor MORE (R-N.H.), the other two GOP centrists backing the Collins plan, joined her. 

Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinOpioid package clears key Senate hurdle Overnight Healthcare: Feds defend ObamaCare's affordability DNC chief spared in Sanders-Clinton talks: report MORE (D-Ill.), Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiSenate confirms first black female librarian of Congress Clinton pens tribute to feminist website The Toast Senate Appropriations speeds through spending bills MORE (D-Md.), Joe manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelley (D-Ind.), Bill NelsonBill NelsonMore automakers admit to equipping new cars with defective airbags GOP warming up to Cuba travel How the new aviation law will affect your travel MORE (D-Fla.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinHotel lobby cheers scrutiny on Airbnb GOP platform attempts middle ground on encryption debate Week ahead: Encryption fight poised to heat up MORE (D-Calif.), Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichWeek ahead: Republicans dig into FCC agenda Dem senators blast ‘sprawling’ expansion of spy power Overnight Cybersecurity: Questions linger after Clinton email probe MORE (D-N.M.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency Senators launch broadband caucus Spotify vs. Apple comes to Washington MORE (D-Minn.), Carl LevinCarl LevinAs other regulators move past implementing Dodd-Frank, the SEC falls further behind Will partisan politics infect the Supreme Court? Fight for taxpayers draws fire MORE (D-Mich.), Mike JohannsMike JohannsTo buy a Swiss company, ChemChina must pass through Washington Republican senator vows to block nominees over ObamaCare co-ops Revisiting insurance regulatory reform in a post-crisis world MORE (R-Neb.), Mark KirkMark KirkNBA pulls All-Star Game from NC over bathroom law GOP groups scale back support for Sen. Johnson Top GOP senator: Trump will have little effect on Senate races MORE (R-Ill.) and Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerThe Trail 2016: Unity at last This week: Congress eyes the exits in dash to recess Former Gillibrand aide wins NY House primary MORE (D-N.Y.) were just a few of the others in the huddle.

Reid warned ahead of the vote that allowing the debt limit to expire would send the nation’s economy into a tailspin.

“What a sad day for America,” he said. “They’re voting to not allow us to even debate whether the debt ceiling should be raised. Are they afraid of that? Do they just want this to go away?

“Each hour that goes by, we’re closer to a calamity for our country,” he added.

The Obama administration has set an Oct. 17 deadline for expanding borrowing authority.

A group of Senate Republicans say the debt limit should not be raised unless President Obama agrees in advance to budget negotiations that would reform entitlement programs.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) warned the stock market will begin to plunge unless Congress acts this weekend. He said millions of Americans will see their savings decline.

“This irresponsible action, sadly, is likely to create a decline in value of your hard-earned savings,” he said. “It can be avoided. What would it take? Six Republicans. The Democrats are ready to move forward.”


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