WASHINGTON — The Senate will vote on the debt ceiling deal negotiated by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced.
Senators have come to an agreement to pass the bill after having voted on a series of 11 amendments from members of both parties who oppose the deal or certain parts of it. The agreement is expected to pass when the series has ended. It needs 60 votes to pass and would then head to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature.
Biden must sign the bill into law by Monday to avoid a default, according to the Treasury Department.
Senate leaders worked throughout the day to get an agreement on amendment votes, which will allow senators to get their colleagues on the record on a variety of issues related to the bill. The series of amendment votes, which began at 7:30 p.m. ET, could take hours.
All 100 senators had to agree to speed consideration of the measure, and the amendment votes were meant to get the whole chamber on board. If any senator objects, the final vote could have been pushed to as late as Wednesday, two days past the deadline.
In addition to seeking amendment votes, Republicans had asked Schumer to commit to bring up all 12 government spending bills this year to avoid an across-the-board spending cut in the debt ceiling bill. They also wanted a commitment to bring up supplemental funding legislation to increase defense spending and assist Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
The Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to pass an increase in defense spending on its own.
The deal to pass the debt ceiling bill came after negotiations between both parties. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., was seen shuttling between a Republican lunch and the Senate floor, where Democrats were huddling earlier in the day. She at one point pulled Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., into a room just off the Senate floor to look over a piece of paper she had.
By the end of the GOP lunch, Republican senators said they expected Schumer to make those assurances and announce a deal.
Schumer opened the Senate floor Thursday morning urging quick passage of the bill.
“Time is a luxury the Senate does not have if we want to prevent default. June 5th is less than four days away,” he said, adding that the Senate will stay in session until the bill has passed.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who called the bill a "deal from hell," said that he would file multiple amendments but that he wouldn't hold up the deal "for the sake of holding it up." The Senate will vote on one amendment he offered.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., also succeeded in getting a vote on an amendment to remove a provision that would expedite the approval of a natural gas pipeline backed by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Kaine got into what he called a "robust debate" with Manchin over the provision at a Senate lunch Wednesday and expressed outrage that the White House didn't give him a head's up that it would be in the deal.
“It’s slimy,” Kaine said. “It didn’t have to go on the debt ceiling bill. I mean, for God’s sake, does this company really feel like they’re as important as the creditworthiness of the United States?”
The amendments aren't expected to pass, as that would send the whole bill back to the House with little time left to avoid a default.
“At this point, any needless delay or any last-minute holdups would be an unnecessary and even dangerous risk," Schumer warned Thursday. "And any change to this bill that forces us to send it back to the House would be entirely unacceptable. It would almost guarantee default.”