The House of Representatives has voted to approve a bill that would raise the U.S. government's debt limit -- a key step toward preventing what would be the U.S. government's first default in history.
The Republican Party-led House on August 1 voted 269-161 -- well over the required majority of 216 -- in support of the measure, with most of the "yes" votes coming from Republicans.
House members from President Barack Obama's Democratic Party were evenly split -- 95 in favor, and 95 against.
The deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling must now be voted on in the Democratic-led Senate.
Officials said the Senate is expected to approve the measure in a vote August 2, and afterwards it will be sent to the White House for President Obama's signature.
U.S. lawmakers are facing a deadline of midnight August 2 to raise the debt limit -- or, experts say, the U.S. government will start running out of money to pay its bills, potentially causing fresh turmoil in the U.S. and global economies.
Under the plan being voted on, the U.S. debt ceiling is planned to rise by about $2.4 trillion, while a proposed $2.1 trillion in spending cuts would be imposed over 10 years.
Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House's Democrats, told the chamber she was "not happy" with the legislation, but would vote for it anyway because of the dangers posed by a possible default.
"It's hard to believe that we are putting our best foot forward with the legislation that comes before us today,” Pelosi said. “I'm not happy with it, but I'm proud of some of the accomplishments contained in it, and that's why I'm voting for it."
Democrats in Congress had opposed imposing spending cuts without increasing taxes on the rich and wealthy corporations, while Republicans had opposed tax increases.
compiled from agency reports