Tuesday, December 23, 2014   

US lawmakers pass borrowing limit extension
(02-13 10:19)

Lawmakers approved a 13-month extension of US borrowing authority with no strings attached Wednesday, shelving a fractious political debate over the debt ceiling until after November's mid-term elections.
With last-minute help from Republican leaders to overcome a blocking effort, the Senate passed the legislation 55-43.
The measure, which cleared the House of Representatives Tuesday, now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature.
But the bill was nearly torpedoed in a tense procedural vote minutes earlier, when the Senate's Republican leaders struggled to help muster the 60 votes necessary to overcome a blocking tactic known as a filibuster from fiscal conservatives within their ranks.
By the end of an unusually long vote that lasted a full hour, 12 Republicans joined all Democrats to advance the bill. But no Republicans backed its final passage, which required a simple majority in the 100-seat chamber.
US debt stands at US$17.3 trillion, and the Treasury estimates it would exhaust borrowing capacity on February 27 without new authority.—AFP

   
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