That’s how many senators broke party ranks yesterday on a procedural vote rejecting a measure that would have revoked the suspension of the $16.7 trillion federal debt limit through Feb. 7.
The Senate voted 54-45 along party lines against proceeding to the measure, which was offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
McConnell, who’s seeking re-election next year, made the proposal less than two weeks after Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into law a measure that ended a 16-day partial government shutdown and suspended federal borrowing authority.
That law contained a provision allowing Congress to vote to disapprove of Obama’s exercise of authority to suspend the debt limit, as Bloomberg’s Kathleen Hunter reported here. The idea was to “give Republicans a chance to go on the record opposing an increase in federal borrowing authority,” she wrote.
The Senate Oct. 16 passed the fiscal accord on a vote of 81-18, with 27 Republicans including McConnell siding with all 52 Democrats and 2 independents who align with that party.
The Republican-led House began debate on its own debt-ceiling disapproval resolution yesterday and probably will adopt it today.