Senators voted to advance the first of two bills needed to increase borrowing authority.

The Senate on Thursday moved closer to increasing the debt ceiling by voting to limit debate on the first of two necessary bills, while the Treasury Department called for measures needed to increase federal borrowing credit by next week.

14 Republicans joined 48 Democrats and two independent senators in voting to advance the first of two bills needed to increase the Treasury Department’s borrowing authority. 64 senators voted for this step, 36 against it. This was the result of an agreement reached between the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, and Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

This decision opens the way to the adoption of a bill providing for an accelerated procedure for raising the debt limit.

A vote on the bill itself could take place in the Senate as early as Friday. If this bill is passed, next week both houses of Congress will have to vote on the second bill, which directly concerns raising the limit.

President Joe Biden is expected to sign both bills as soon as they are passed.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved the first bill to circumvent the so-called “filibuster” rule in the Senate and achieve an increase in the debt limit by a simple majority vote.

“I hope that after today’s vote we will be on the right track to avoid a catastrophic default,” Schumer said, speaking on the Senate Floor.

Schumer and McConnell’s agreement to increase the debt ceiling was included in a bill that would avoid cutting funding for Medicare– the state health insurance program for the elderly, which enjoys broad support from both parties.

The bill should include the amount of the new debt limit, which will give the government enough borrowing authority to provide funding before the midterm congressional elections next November and for some time after. At the moment, the limit is 28.9 trillion dollars.

“Every Democrat in the Senate will have to put their signature on the gigantic amount of debt that they are willing to shoulder on the American people,” McConnell said, speaking on the Senate Floor on Wednesday.