December 25, 2009
Washington: The Senate voted Thursday to raise the ceiling on the government debt to $12.4 trillion, a massive increase over the current limit and a political problem that President Barack Obama has promised to address next year.
[efoods]The Senate’s rare Christmas Eve vote, 60-39, follows House passage last week and raises the debt ceiling by $290 billion. The vote split mainly down party lines, with Democrats voting to raise the limit and Republicans voting against doing so. There was one defection on each side, by senators whose seats will be on the ballot next year: GOP Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio and Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana.
The bill permits the Treasury Department to issue enough bonds to fund the government’s operations and programs until mid-February. The Senate will vote again on the issue Jan. 20.