News Summary: Congress approves debt ceiling bill

News Summary: Congress passes bill to extend federal borrowing authority and avert default

Associated Press
Congress sends bill to Obama averting govt default
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FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, file photo, the dome of the Capitol is reflected in a skylight of the Capitol Visitor's Center in Washington. The Senate Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, took up must-do legislation to permit the government to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars more to meet its obligations, putting off one Washington showdown even as others loom in coming weeks. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

A REPRIEVE: Congress passed legislation Thursday to permit the government to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars more to meet its obligations, averting a first-ever government default that had loomed as early as mid-February.

THE DETAILS: The Democratic-controlled Senate approved the bill, sending the measure to President Barack Obama, who has said he will sign it. The Republican-led House passed the legislation last week.

THE OUTLOOK: The legislation would temporarily suspend the $16.4 trillion limit on federal borrowing, allowing the government to borrow more to meet interest payments and pay obligations like Social Security benefits and government salaries. Experts say the deadline for Congress to act again to prevent default would likely not come until August.

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