Written by By Staff Writer, Jordan Bowen, CNN
Congressional Republicans successfully passed legislation Monday to raise the nation’s debt ceiling before a default on U.S. debt begins July 20.
The move will end weeks of debate that brought the Republican-controlled Congress to the brink of a full-blown government shutdown.
The bill passed by a vote of 316-90.
The legislation gave President Donald Trump the chance to fire his Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who was considered a co-conspirator with congressional Republicans in cutting a deal in return for boosts to the debt ceiling and an extra two weeks for spending negotiations to take place.
Trump on Sunday was looking for an even bigger concession, a public vote on protections for young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers — but the deal went down to the wire.
Senator John Cornyn, who chairs the chamber’s GOP whip team, announced the final deal just after 2:00 a.m.
‘Obstructing and dissembling’
In a statement released Sunday night, Trump sounded relieved that the crisis had ended, while also criticizing congressional Democrats for what he claimed was their “obstruction and dissembling.”
“‘No’ can now stand for ‘yeah,'” Trump tweeted. “Too bad. Shows you! Should’ve gotten ‘yes’ in the first place!”
He blamed Mnuchin’s efforts at reaching a deal for the breakdown.
“Steve Mnuchin of the United States (thank you) and myself, together with Lindsay Graham and others, are working hard to get great border security. The Schumer Shutdown was a great lesson to the Dems!” he tweeted.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who spoke with Trump by phone shortly before the deal was announced, said “it was really necessary to get this done,” but hinted that he was “intensely disappointed” by what happened.
“Well, the other side of that coin is we got some, I think what we hoped to get done, which is a short-term debt ceiling increase, which is another step on the road towards fiscal responsibility,” Ryan said.
“And that is something that as a fiscal conservative, I am pleased to see, and that we’re going to work with the Senate to try to get passed in conference on the budget. And if we can, I think there is momentum there to get some real fiscal discipline.”
Under the deal, Congress must agree to extend the nation’s borrowing authority until September, and Congress must pass another spending bill by the end of September to avoid a government shutdown.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who co-authored the bill with the president, called it a “big win for the American people” and said Democrats had not been given enough.
Trump said in a video posted to Twitter on Monday morning that the deal was “historic.”
“We agreed to increase the debt limit, and in return, we’ve made a long-term agreement to begin to cut billions of dollars in spending,” he said.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to announce the deal, telling host Chris Wallace: “No one’s stepping off of that.”
Mulvaney noted Mnuchin played a key role in the negotiations — a position that Trump has taken: “Steven has played a great role in this whole process, and I asked for his help.”
Earlier in the morning, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted his approval of the measure.
“History will judge this era as the one when our nation adopted sound fiscal policy to safeguard the American Dream,” he wrote.
Republican Senator John Cornyn also applauded the bill, saying that a debt ceiling “cliff” was averted.
“No country has ever defaulted on their debt as a result of a failure to raise the debt ceiling,” he tweeted. “Today, Congress acted with the bipartisan support of our President and the Republican leadership.”
“It’s a major victory for responsible spending,” Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said, adding that the move “took a lot of hard work.”
Lawmakers reached a deal on spending. Congress must approve another spending bill by September 30 in order to prevent a government shutdown.