Key debt-limit vote sparks major fight among Senate Republicans

A key procedural vote to pave the way for a $480 billion increase in the debt limit sparked a major fight in the Senate GOP conference late Thursday afternoon that left Senate Republican leaders uncertain whether they had the 10 votes they needed to avoid a major embarrassment on the Senate floor.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) acknowledged to GOP colleagues during a 90-minute closed-door meeting in the Capitol that they did not yet have the 10 Republican votes needed to end a filibuster on a controversial debt limit deal and asked colleagues for help.

One Republican called the meeting “very contentious” and described “widespread frustration” in the room.