Overcoming a crucial hurdle, the Senate voted 67 to 31 to advance the bill, overcoming a filibuster by hard-line Republicans. The Senate is now expected to easily pass the bill on the final vote.
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.
"There was a division in our conference," said Sen.