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WASHINGTON D.C.-Monday, the U.s. House of Representatives passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling with a vote of 269-161. It was sent on to the Senate. Tuesday, at noon, the Senate in turn voted on the bill that would reduce the National Debt by up to $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years. It passed the Senate on a vote of 74-26 in a roll call vote.
The bill now goes to Obama, who is expected to sign it before midnight tonight. His signiture will avert any default and the subsequent downgrade of the nation’s credit rating that would come with it. The bill will eliminate any need to go back to congress for any future debt ceiling elevation through 2012.
Neither party is happy with the bill. The republicans feel that there wasn’t enough cuts to the U.S. debt, and the Democrats weren’t satisfied in that there was no increased revenue increases to off-set the cuts to the nations spending.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other GOP leaders have sold the deal to skeptical rank-and-file Republicans by arguing that it will finally begin the process of reforming spending and taming the growing debt, a key goal of conservatives who fueled the GOP takeover of the House in last year’s midterm elections.
Even though either side did not get much of what they wanted in this legislation, both sides now emit a sigh of relief as this legislation is moved behind them. Republicans again held off on tax increases and Democrats kept the cuts from going as deep as the Republicans had threatened. Politicians on the Hill will not have to revisit the national debt until after the 2012 elections.
All Congressional delegates suffered from the debt ceiling debate in the polls, and saw significant downswings in their popularity. Only 17% of Americans believe that their elected officials have behaved like “responsible adults” during the debt ceiling debate, while 77% believe they have acted like “spoiled children.”