Senate passes debt limit bill, sending it to Obama

WASHINGTON — The Senate passed legislation Thursday ending Congress’s debt limit debate for at least a few months, delaying enforcement of the limit on federal borrowing until mid-May and making timely congressional pay contingent on passing a budget in April.

Both Minnesota senators voted yes.

The Senate’s passage of the so-called “No Budget No Pay” bill was expected after the House passed it last week. With the vote today, the bill goes to President Obama, who has said he’ll sign it.

As was the case in the House, most GOP members voted against the bill and Democrats carried it to passage (only one Democrat defected). The final vote was 64-34.

Republicans have long made the Democratically-controlled Senate’s failure to pass a budget resolution one of their leading talking points. Minutes after the Senate’s vote, House Speaker John Boehner put out a statement saying, “It shouldn’t have taken legislative action by the House to force the Democratic majority in the Senate to do its job — but after nearly four years of inaction on a budget by Senate Democrats, that’s what it came to.”

Democrats have pledged to pass such a budget resolution (which is not binding) sometime this spring.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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