Overcoming a crucial hurdle, the Senate voted, 67-31, to advance the bill, only after top GOP leaders switched their positions to push past hard-line Republicans in a dramatic hourlong ordeal. The Senate easily adopted the bill on a final party-line vote, 55-43, with two Republicans absent as a snowstorm was poised to hit the capital.
The bill had been swiftly approved by the House this week in a turnaround for Speaker
Even as public concern over the nation's $17.3-trillion debt has faded from its peak a few years ago, Wednesday's vote was not without a final fight as the tea party wing attempted to prevent more borrowing.
Defying GOP leaders, Sen.