Senate could clear debt bill Wednesday

The Senate could vote on a bill to extend the nation's debt ceiling on Wednesday, a leadership aide said.

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The House is voting Tuesday evening on an extension through March 15, 2015, of the nation's borrowing authority. The bill would allow the Treasury Department to issue new debt totaling hundreds of billions of dollars above the current $17.2 trillion limit.

House GOP leaders have decided to bow to Democratic demands that the debt ceiling increase be "clean" and free of any policy changes. The decision was made after leaders failed to get 218 votes in the GOP conference for any partisan debt-ceiling proposal.

Conservative groups are up in arms over the decision, with the Senate Conservatives Fund calling for Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerGOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan Can Jim Jordan become top House Republican? Tensions on immigration erupt in the House GOP MORE (R-Ohio) to lose his job.

A winter storm that's expected to drop several inches of snow on the Washington region beginning late Wednesday is motivating the quick action.

Sen Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTen dead after shooting at Texas high school Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers target Chinese tech giants | Dems move to save top cyber post | Trump gets a new CIA chief | Ryan delays election security briefing | Twitter CEO meets lawmakers For cable commentators, the 2016 GOP primary never ended MORE (R-Texas) told The Hill he will filibuster the bill to require 60 votes but signaled he could allow a Wednesday vote.

"Any vote on the debt ceiling has to be subject to a 60-vote threshold," Cruz said. "Under no circumstances will I consent to a 50-vote threshold."

"I think it is a terrible idea to rise the debt ceiling while providing no structural reforms to the out-of-control spending," he added. 

Other Senate Republicans also appeared unhappy with a clean increase.

"I'd prefer to get something for it," Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchDemocrats urge colleagues to oppose prison reform bill The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Senate GOP anger over McCain insult grows MORE (R-Utah) said. "This is not going the way I would like it to."

"Am I going to vote for it? Hell no!" Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers weigh in after Texas school shooting Kim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays Overnight Finance: Watchdog weighs probe into handling of Cohen bank records | Immigration fight threatens farm bill | House panel rebukes Trump on ZTE | Trump raises doubts about trade deal with China MORE (R-S.C.) said. "Isn't there some middle ground between defaulting on our debt and doing nothing to address our fiscal problems?" he asked.

--This report was updated at 2:39 p.m.