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Congress gave final approval early Wednesday to legislation that would raise the debt ceiling by US$2.5-trillion, moving over nearly unanimous Republican opposition to stave off the threat of a first-ever federal default until at least early 2023.

Democrats were united in support of the measure, which passed the Senate 50-49 along party lines Tuesday afternoon and then cleared the House in a 221-209 vote shortly after midnight Wednesday. Republicans opposed the legislation en masse, with only one, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voting in favor. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden, who was expected to quickly sign it.

The swift action came a week after party leaders announced a deal to establish a one-time fast-track process to increase the debt ceiling with a simple majority vote, instead of the 60 votes needed to move most legislation through the Senate.

The votes occurred with little time to spare before a potential default, which would be catastrophic for the national economy. The Treasury Department had warned that it would be unable to pay the nation’s bills soon after Wednesday, and the agency is currently using so-called “extraordinary measures,” a series of fiscal tools to delay the threat of a default.

“The full faith and credit of the United States should never be questioned,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said just before the House vote. “The health of our economy should never be threatened. The financial security of our families must never be gambled.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said Tuesday that the $2.5-trillion figure would be enough to punt the threat of a default past the midterm elections next year, an assessment shared by the Treasury Department, according to a person familiar with its internal estimates. The debt limit, which covers debt incurred by administrations from both parties, is currently set at $28.9-trillion.

Some Democrats argued that the contortions were evidence that Congress should dispose of the process altogether, rather than periodically running up against potentially catastrophic fiscal cliffs, only to set up new ones in the future.

“I think it’s very clear that this debt ceiling process has got to go,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the chairman of the Finance Committee. “It is now a tool for politicians for political purposes, and it just defies common sense.”

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