After weeks of brinkmanship, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday announced Democrats and Republicans have reached a deal to avert the U.S. defaulting on its debt for the first time through a temporary increase in the debt ceiling through early December.
“We have reached an agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December, and it’s our hope that we can get this done as soon as today,” he said, referring to a Senate vote.
McConnell followed Schumer and confirmed a deal is close to a vote — with the GOP leader claiming credit for saving the American people from default and the Democrats from themselves.
“The Senate is moving toward the plan I laid out last night to spare the American people a manufactured crisis,” he said.
A Senate aide told ABC News the temporary agreement is to raise the debt ceiling by $480 billion — the level of borrowing authority the Treasury Department says is needed to get the government through to Dec. 3.
That is also the expiration date of the stopgap government funding bill needed to keep the government running.
The Senate deal comes a little more than a week before Oct. 18 — the date Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pegged as when the U.S. will no longer be able to cover its debts.
Real-world consequences of the U.S. defaulting would include delays to Social Security payments and checks to service members, a suspension of veterans’ benefits, and rising interest rates on credit cards, car loans and mortgages.