Senate and House Approve Debt Ceiling Suspension

On Tuesday, February 11, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that suspends the debt ceiling until March 15, 2015. The measure to raise the nation’s borrowing limit through next year passed with a vote of 221-201. Ten representatives abstained.

On Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Senate voted 55-43 to approve the debt ceiling suspension as well, after overcoming a filibuster with a 67-31 procedural vote to end debate.

This is the first debt ceiling increase since 2009 that was not attached to other legislation, according to the New York Times. It eliminates any chance of default on the nation’s $17.2 trillion in debt until March 2015, at which time the debt ceiling will rise to whatever the debt is at that point.

U.S. Senate to speed up debt limit vote ahead of winter storm,” Reuters, 12 February 2014.

Ed O’Keefe, “Who voted for the ‘clean’ debt ceiling increase?Washington Post, 11 February 2014.

The debt ceiling battle explained in 12 charts,” Christian Science Monitor.

Catherina Hurlburt, Special Assistant, February 12, 2014. © National Association for Music Education (