WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have blocked a Republican attempt to stop President Barack Obama from using his authority to raise the government's borrowing cap by $1.2 trillion.
The GOP move failed on a 52-44 vote, mostly along party lines. The vote caps an unusual process designed by top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell to let lawmakers, mostly Republicans, vote against debt increases but not actually block them. That would provoke a first-ever, market-rattling default on U.S. obligations.
Obama's presidential veto power guarantees the increase would go through as intended, anyway.
The House passed the measure last week.
The national debt stands at $15.2 trillion.
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