Senate Republicans on Saturday blocked a bid by Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidObama seeks down-ballot gains after being midterm loser Reid: 'I have set the Senate' for nuclear option Obama in Nevada: 'Heck no' to Trump, Joe Heck 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.
During the vote, a large number of Democratic senators huddled around Collins (R-Maine). Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiWriting in Mike Pence won’t do any good in these states GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Trump campaign left out of Alaska voter guide MORE (R-Alaska) and Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteThe Trail 2016: Who is really winning? Graham: GOP Senate could rein in Clinton White House Warren: Trump is right about Sen. Kelly Ayotte being weak MORE (R-N.H.), the other two GOP centrists backing the Collins plan, joined her.
Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Wikileaks: Durbin pushed unknown Warren for Obama bank regulator The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ill.), Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiBetter child care for stronger families GOP Senate candidate: It's 'not practical' to repeal ObamaCare Senate Dems: Add Flint aid to spending deal MORE (D-Md.), Joe manchin (D-W.Va.), Joe Donnelley (D-Ind.), Bill NelsonBill NelsonFederal agency under fire for selling recalled cars Senators offer renewed hope of ending hotel booking scams Yahoo hack spurs push for legislation MORE (D-Fla.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinAirbnb foes mobilize in Washington Top Dem: Russia trying to elect Trump Sanders, Dem senators press Obama to halt ND pipeline MORE (D-Calif.), Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichDems to McConnell: Pass 'clean' extension of Iran sanctions Election-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables New thinking on old tech for a secure future MORE (D-N.M.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Podesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs EpiPen maker to pay 5M to settle overcharging case MORE (D-Minn.), Carl LevinCarl LevinThe Fed and a return to banking simplicity What Our presidential candidates can learn from Elmo Zumwalt Will there be a 50-50 Senate next year? 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 KirkGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Iran sending ships to Yemeni coast after US ship fires at Houthi sites MORE (R-Ill.) and Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerReid: 'I have set the Senate' for nuclear option Immigration was barely covered in the debates GOP leaders advise members to proceed with caution on Trump 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.”