The Senate voted Wednesday night to raise the federal debt ceiling and to reopen the government. The bill passed overwhelmingly, 81 senators supporting to 18 opposing, and will now go the House of Representatives. House speaker John Boehner has said he will not block a vote on the Senate bill despite opposition from many in his Republican conference. The House will likely vote on the bill later Wednesday night.
The final package, unveiled by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor earlier in the day, would fund the government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling through Feb. 7.
The bill would also strengthen income verification requirements for those who sign up for insurance under Obamacare, and it would provide time for both parties to appoint lawmakers to a conference committee to reconcile a broad budget resolution. The panel would be led by Budget Committee heads Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, and it would be required to announce the result of its negotiations by Dec. 13.
“This has been a long, challenging few weeks for Congress and for the country," McConnell said. “It’s my hope that today we can put some of the most urgent issues behind us."
All 18 no votes were from Republican senators, including John Cornyn, Mike Crapo, Tom Coburn, Ted Cruz, Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, Dean Heller, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Jim Risch, Pat Roberts, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby, Pat Toomey, and David Vitter.