The Senate passed a one-time rule change Thursday allowing Democrats to ram through a debt ceiling increase with just 51 votes ahead of next week’s deadline.
The rule change was approved by a 64-36 vote in the evenly divided chamber, with 14 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats in voting for its passage.
Some conservative Republicans had objected to the move, arguing that Democrats should use the reconciliation process to pass a debt ceiling increase with a 51-vote majority, even as they push a sweeping social spending bill costing nearly $2 trillion.
However, leaders from both parties asserted that they did not want to see the nation default on its financial obligations.
The language to approve the process — which allows for a debt ceiling increase that is subject to a set dollar amount instead of a blanket hike — was added to a popular legislative measure to prevent cuts to Medicare.
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