US President Barack Obama on Monday signed a measure allowing the government to borrow to meet its needs until May 18, staving off the threat of default.

The Bill arrived on the President’s desk after being approved by the Senate 64-34 on Thursday. It was approved by the House of Representatives the week before.

The Bill defused tension between Republicans and Mr. Obama over the debt ceiling after he had demanded an increase in the limit.

Historically, Congress has raised the debt limit without question.

But in the past year-and-a-half Republicans have tried to use it to force budget cuts.

The US Treasury had said that the current 16.4 trillion dollar debt limit must be raised by the end of February.

Republicans, who control the House, put forward the proposal to avert the default threat, but they included language that forces the Democrats in control of the upper Senate to vote on a budget before a long-term deal on the debt.

The debt limit suspension would give Congress and the White House time to forge a budget plan that includes medium-term reduction of the government’s operating deficit, which has topped 1 trillion dollars for each of the last several years.

The measure would also withhold pay from lawmakers starting in April unless a budget is passed. The pay measure is intended to force the Senate to act on the budget.

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