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 BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist 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 CruzTed CruzTrump wants to cut red tape? He should start with the CFPB. Why President Trump should choose Maureen Ohlhausen to lead the FTC Trump to speak at CPAC 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 Hatch7 key players in the GOP's border tax fight Public lands dispute costs Utah a major trade show Overnight Tech: GOP chairman to propose high-skilled visa overhaul | Zuckerberg's 5,700 word letter | Tech lobbies gear up ahead of internet fight 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 GrahamCheney to intro Pence at Jewish GOP event CEOs come to defense of border tax plan Trump’s feud with the press in the spotlight 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.