The president is now pressuring Congress to approve a similar effort.
"He realizes now that raising the debt ceiling is so important to the health of this economy and the global economy that it is not a vote that, even when you are protesting an administration's policies, you can play around with," presidential spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
The nation will reach its $14 trillion debt limit in May.
If Congress doesn't raise it by then, the U.S. could be in danger of defaulting on financial obligations.
Republicans say they won't support raising the debt ceiling unless bigger steps are taken toward deficit reduction.
The president will outline his deficit reduction plan in a speech on Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.