Updated 1:04 p.m.: President Barack Obama says a failure to increase the government's borrowing authority would effectively shutter the economy.
Obama told reporters at the White House Friday that would have a 'profound destabilizing effect' on the U.S. and global economies.
He accused Republicans of "political grandstanding" and said what they really care about is "appeasing the tea party."
The government faces two looming deadlines. One is a potential government shutdown Oct. 1 if Congress doesn't approve a short-term spending bill. The other is a debt limit around Oct. 17 if Congress doesn't increase the government's borrowing authority.
Obama says failure to raise the debt ceiling would be far more dangerous than a government shutdown.
Obama has vowed not to negotiate on the debt ceiling.
Previously: The Democratic-run Senate has approved legislation aimed at preventing a Tuesday federal shutdown, at the same time blocking an effort to strip money from the president's health care law.
Friday's vote was 54-44.
But it remains unclear whether the Senate and the Republican-run House will be able to complete a compromise bill in time to get it to President Barack Obama for his signature before the government has to close.
That is because House GOP leaders are still struggling to figure out how they can win enough votes from conservatives to push a new version of the legislation through their chamber.
Conservatives have been trying to use the must-pass bill as a way to kill or weaken Obama's 2010 health care law.
Before the Senate approved the overall bill, it voted to remove House-passed language that would have blocked money for Obamacare.