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Who voted for and against the debt ceiling extension?

The US Senate voted last night to temporarily lift the debt ceiling but the decision must be also agreed by the House of Representatives next week.

The Senate narrowly voted to increase the debt ceiling by $480 billion through December 3 in a 50-48 vote.
Alex WongAFP

The Senate has passed the legislation required to temporarily raise the United States’ debt ceiling, heading off the threat of a first ever federal default in the coming weeks. The Democrats were joined by 11 Republicans who allowed the bill to pass; it still needs approval in the House before it can be signed into law.

The temporary extension to December 3 means the threat of default has subsided for now. However, a new vote to extend it again will be needed before December 3.

Who voted for...

The vote was split into two stages. The first was a vote to overcome the filibuster which passed by 61 votes to 38. This was because Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell managed to get the support of ten Republican senators to vote with the Democrats. After that it just needed a simple majority, which the Democrats won 50 votes to 48.

All Democrats in the Senate voted with their party on both votes. The names of the ten Republican Senators who voted with Mitch McConnell are listed below:

  • Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
  • Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)
  • Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)
  • Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)
  • Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
  • Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)

... and who voted against

When it came to the final vote, Republicans voted against the bill. This suggests when the bill needs to be renewed next month there will be much debate over the long-term plan for the US's debt problem.

"This is a complete capitulation," said Republican Lindsey Graham after McConnell blocked the filibuster.

Related news:

Why is the bill important?

Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the US economy could slip into recession if the nation was allowed to default on its commitments.

She told an interview with CNBC, “It would be catastrophic to not pay the government’s bills, for us to be in a position where we lacked the resources to pay the government’s bills,” adding, “I fully expect it would cause a recession as well.”

With so many countries investing money in the US, a debt default would have led to a slide in the power of the dollar, which would then trigger a huge loss of investment in the US. Nations which have dollars as their reserve currency, namely nearly every nation in the world, would see that money reduce in amount overnight. Trust in the US economic system would be dashed.


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