Washington The Senate voted Thursday to allow the government to go a whopping $1.9 trillion deeper in debt, offering a vivid election-year reminder that the government has to borrow 40 cents of every dollar it spends.
The measure would put the government on track for a national debt of $14.3 trillion — more than $45,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. And the debt is increasingly held by foreign nations such as China.
The budget for the current year is about $3.5 trillion, and the deficit will probably match last year’s $1.4 trillion. The government would have to borrow to cover that $1.4 trillion.
The measure passed 60-39 under ground rules insisted upon by Republicans that required 60 votes to pass it. Democrats and allied independents control 60 seats — for now — and were only able to win the vote because Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts has yet to be seated.