(UPDATE) WASHINGTON (AP) – Bill to raise US debt limit by $480B clears Senate, likely staving off default crisis; House approval still needed.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – The country’s looming debt ceiling crisis eased Thursday morning.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer came to the Senate floor to announce an agreement has been reached, and a vote could come as early as Thursday night.

Senator Schumer was followed a short time later by Senator Mitch McConnell, who said senate republicans stepped forward to make this agreement possible.

Raising the debt ceiling is necessary to allow the country to pay back the money it already borrowed, and avoid defaulting on its loans.