The House of Representatives on Tuesday narrowly approved an unconditional debt limit extension until March 2015.

The Republican-dominated lower house of Congress gave the green light to the measure by a vote of 221-201.

However, most of the yes-votes came from Democrats, with only 28 Republican lawmakers backing the proposal to extend the Treasury's borrowing authority, which apparently puts off another debt fight until after the November mid-term elections.

Conservative groups criticized the move but it had become clear that most Republican legislators had no desire to go head to head once again with President Barack Obama over raising the debt ceiling, a move that is required if the government is to be able to borrow money to pay its obligations.

The measure now must go to the Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats, where it will have to find support from at least 60 of the 100 lawmakers.

Tuesday's measure comes after a temporary debt ceiling agreement was reached amid the budget crisis last October but expired on Feb. 7 and which the Treasury had already taken extraordinary action to remedy, although those moves would have lasted only until the end of February.

Analysts and lawmakers had anticipated a severe negative impact on the securities markets if the debt limit were not raised.

The federal debt limit currently stands at $16.7 trillion, although after the October agreement the U.S. debt had risen to $17.25 trillion. EFE