Extension of U.S. debt limit wins final congressional approval

WASHINGTON Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:08pm EST

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WASHINGTON Jan 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday gave final Congressional approval to a bill allowing the government to borrow money beyond its record $16.4 trillion record debt limit, clearing the way for President Barack Obama to sign it into law.

The Democratic-led Senate passed the bill, 64-34, a week after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved it, 285-144.

The measure is designed to postpone for at least a few months another big showdown in a sharply divided Washington on spending cuts and tax hikes.

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