WASHINGTON — Emergency legislation to allow the government to borrow more money headed toward passage in the Senate today just hours before the national debt bumps against its ceiling.
Expected approval sends the bill to President Barack Obama, averting a potentially disastrous, first-ever government default and making a down payment toward taming out-of-control budget deficits.
"Finally Washington is taking responsibility for spending money it doesn't have," Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said at the start of debate.
The legislation, which easily passed the House on Monday, is virtually assured to clear the Senate at midday by a bipartisan tally. The White House promises Obama will quickly sign the measure into law. Obama planned to issue a statement after the vote.
One House member representing Howard County, Rep. Randy Neugebauer, voted against the legislation.
“We have come a long way in these negotiations to get our fiscal house in order, but ultimately this bill’s failure to include a Balanced Budget Amendment, combined with severe spending cuts for our nation’s military while our nation is at war, resulted in my opposition to this bill,” said Neugebauer. “It is critical that a balanced budget amendment be embraced by our government and our states. American families have had to tighten their belts and do more with less. Washington must do the same."
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