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Obama’s debt-deal signature averts default

The Senate emphatically passed emergency legislation Tuesday to avoid a first-ever government default, rushing the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature just hours before the deadline. The vote was 74-26. Obama signed the bill little more than an hour later. Tuesday’s vote capped an extraordinarily difficult Washington battle pitting tea party Republican forces in the House against Obama and Democrats controlling the Senate. The resulting compromise paired an essential increase in the government’s borrowing cap with promises of more than $2 trillion of budget cuts over the next decade. “It’s an important first step to ensuring that as
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Debt-limit bill passes Congress; Obama says more needed

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday a just-passed bill to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and cut spending was a first step toward ensuring the United States lives within its means but that more was needed to rebuild the world’s largest economy. Speaking at the White House, Obama made clear he expects tax reform to emerge from deliberations by a new committee of Democrats and Republicans to be established by the legislation and that a “balanced approach” in which the wealthier pay more taxes is needed for more deficit reduction. Obama, a Democrat, said uncertainty from the bitter debt debate
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Debt-limit debacle draws to a close…for now

The United States is poised to step back from the brink of economic disaster on Tuesday as a bitterly fought deal to cut the budget deficit is expected to clear the Senate and President Barack Obama‘s desk. Just hours before the Treasury’s authority to borrow funds runs out — risking a damaging U.S. debt default — the Senate was expected to approve the deal to cut the country’s bulging deficit and lift the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling enough to last beyond the November 2012 elections. The bill cleared its biggest hurdle on Monday evening when the Republican-led House of Representatives
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House passes debt-limit extension

The House of Representatives on Monday approved an 11th-hour deal to raise the borrowing limit, clearing the biggest hurdle to averting a potentially catastrophic debt default. Just one day before the deadline to lift the debt ceiling, the passage by 269 votes to 161 by the Republican-controlled House paved the way for an expected approval in the Senate of a $2.1 trillion deficit-cutting plan hammered out over the weekend. The Democratic-led Senate was expected to vote on the plan on Tuesday. Financial markets worldwide have been rattled by uncertainty over whether the compromise plan could pass the House in the
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Senate up next to pass debt-limit extension

With just hours left before the national debt bumps against its ceiling, emergency bipartisan legislation to allow the government to borrow more faces one final test in the Senate. Expected passage there sends the bill to President Barack Obama, averting a potentially disastrous, first-ever government default and making a down payment toward taming out-of-control budget deficits. The legislation, which easily passed the House on Monday, is virtually assured to clear the Senate shortly after noon Tuesday by a bipartisan tally. The White House promises Obama will sign the measure into law. The legislation pairs an increase in the government’s borrowing
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Debt deal really doesn’t reduce deficit all that much

The compromise debt limit deal may have resolved this year’s most clamorous political battle between President Barack Obama and Congress, but it takes only a modest swipe at the heart of the matter: the government’s relentlessly huge budget deficits. The legislation, due a Senate vote Tuesday following Monday’s House passage, would save at least $2.1 trillion over the coming decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which tallies the price tags of bills for lawmakers. That’s real money, even by Washington standards. But it’s just a slice of the nearly $7 trillion in red ink expected over the next
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America, we have a debt-limit deal

Congress is moving quickly on an agreement to avert a potentially devastating default on U.S. obligations, with legislation that mixes a record increase in the government’s borrowing cap with the promise of more than $2 trillion in spending cuts. After a tense weekend of bargaining, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders announced the agreement Sunday night, providing an instant boost to Asian financial markets and a huge dose of relief to an administration and Congress frazzled by months of partisan warfare and the chance that a default could send the still-fragile economy into recession. The Senate seems likely to vote
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Voters played key role in debt-limit deal

Dear voter: Want to know why Democrats and Republicans in Congress find it so hard to work together to solve tough problems like the debt ceiling, health care and Social Security? Look in the mirror. Americans gripe about cowardly, self-serving politicians, and Congress doubtlessly has its feckless moments and members. But voters are quick to overlook their own role in legislative impasses that keep the nation from resolving big, obvious, festering problems such as immigration, the long-term stability of Medicare, and now, the debt ceiling. Here’s the truth: The overwhelming majority of senators and House members do what their constituents
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Debt deal brings temporary relief from government-stalling partisanship

The debt limit deal is breaking the partisan cold snap on Capitol Hill, at least for now. The Senate’s top party leaders, Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Mitch McConnell, rushed to the Senate floor Sunday evening to announce that they had struck a tentative agreement with House leaders and President Barack Obama two days before an Aug. 2 default deadline. Then they took off their microphones, stepped into the aisle between their desks, grinned and shook hands. McConnell grasped Reid’s elbow. Reid left the floor with his second-in-command, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, whispering and clearly relieved. Out in the hallway,
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Jim DeMint relishes tea party role

He calls himself Sen. Tea Party. That almost says it all about Sen. Jim DeMint’s role on the nation’s political scene in these nervous days of debt limit warfare and pre-election posturing. But unlike the fractious movement as a whole, DeMint is specific and focused on what change, exactly, he wants: passage — not just a vote — of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. Without it, he says, no consideration should be given to raising the nation’s borrowing limit. Even, he says, if the country runs out of money for paying all its bills after Aug. 2. The larger
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