(CNN) –Two weeks after the bruising standoff ended over government spending and the debt limit, the House and Senate this week are taking the final steps to formally allow the debt ceiling to rise.
As part of that agreement, each chamber has 15 days to vote on a “motion of disapproval” of President Barack Obama’s official request for a debt increase.
The Senate defeated the disapproval motion in a procedural move Tuesday on a party line vote.
The House is expected to vote Wednesday.
The disapproval measure allows hardened opponents of the increase to register their dissatisfaction.
If, by chance, the motion passed, the President could veto it.
Congress would then need a supermajority from each chamber to override his veto, something that would be very difficult to do.
This mechanism was first used two years ago when Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell proposed it as a way to allow passage of a debt ceiling increase while permitting many in his party to vote no.
Senate Democrats have now seized on the idea and proposed Tuesday making the process the permanent method for raising the debt limit.
They argued it’s less threatening to the economy if Congress can vote to disapprove of these politically-charged debt ceiling increases instead of approving them.
“The way it works right now, the debt ceiling is like a ticking time bomb that threatens massive economic destruction,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a co-sponsor of the proposal. “This bill would diffuse it. By forcing Congress to disapprove debt ceiling increase, we greatly reduce the risk of default that would be a crushing blow to our economy.”
In a speech on the Senate floor, McConnell dismissed Schumer’s proposal and argued it would “hand the President a credit card without spending limits” and would “give the president permanent power to borrow more without a shred of accountability.”
He said no Senate Republicans would go along with the change.