Senators split on debt limit vote


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JUNEAU (AP) — Alaska's two U.S. senators split on a vote on raising the federal debt limit.

Wednesday's vote was 55-43. Democratic Sen. Mark Begich voted in favor and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted against.

The measure permits Treasury Department to borrow regularly through March 15, 2015.

Begich, in a statement, said he voted "to keep the country on the path to long-term economic security." He said a default could lower the nation's credit rating and lead to higher interest rates on home mortgages, college loans, credit cards and car loans.

He added, moving forward, Congress must do more to cut the deficit.

Murkowski said raising the debt limit represents an "abdication of Congress' responsibility" to address the national debt. She said Congress must work together on a plan to rein in spending.

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