1 Feb 2013

US federal debt limit to be raised

1:08 pm on 1 February 2013

The United States Senate has approved a deal that will allow the federal government to borrow beyond its $US16.4 trillion limit.

The vote on Thursday to approve the temporary debt limit reprieve was 64-34 in favour.

The measure has already been passed 285-144 by the House of Representatives and will now go to President Barack Obama for signing into law.

The ABC reports the agreement is only temporary and a new deal will have to be struck by 19 May, although the US Treasury says extraordinary measures would be available on that date to delay breaching the debt ceiling for some extra time.

In the meantime, Congress must decide what to do over automatic spending cuts that take effect at the beginning of March and also consider a measure to continue funding the federal government by March 27.