Las Vegas Sun

November 22, 2014

Currently: 60° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

The Policy Racket

Senate passes debt-ceiling bill on bipartisan vote

Image

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nev. pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, to talk about debt ceiling legislation.

Reid: We Brought Our Economy Back From Brink Of Disaster

Reid: We Brought Our Economy Back From Brink Of Disaster

Heller: The Markets Are Bearing This Out

Heller: The Markets Are Bearing This Out

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.

Today'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 a nation we live within our means," Obama said after the vote. "This is, however, just the first step. This compromise requires that both parties work together on a larger plan to cut the deficit."

Much of the measure, which the House passed Monday night, was negotiated on terms set by House Speaker John Boehner, including a demand that any increase in the nation's borrowing cap be matched by spending cuts. But the legislation also meets demands made by Obama, including debt-limit increases large enough to keep the government funded into 2013 and curbs on growth of the Pentagon budget.

"We've had to settle for less than we wanted, but what we've achieved is in no way insignificant," said Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "But I think it was the view of those in my party that we'd try to get as much spending cuts as we could from a government we didn't control. And that's what we've done with this bipartisan agreement."

The measure would provide an immediate $400 billion increase in the $14.3 trillion U.S. borrowing cap, with $500 billion more assured this fall. That $900 billion would be matched by cuts to agency budgets over the next 10 years.

The Senate vote was never in doubt after Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and McConnell signed on. But like Monday's House vote, defections came from liberal Democrats unhappy that Obama gave too much ground in the talks, as well as from conservative Republicans who said the measure would barely dent deficits that require the government to borrow more than 40 cents of every dollar it spends.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 6 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. The retirement benefit is also capped. Are you saying people who pay in more should get less benefit?

  2. Why is it that we're still in like some kind of continuation hell world that Bush the Lesser started?

    Yet another piece of legislation where there is absolutely no compromise, definitely not a hint of shared sacrifice and without a doubt another occasion to put the screws to the middle class of this country I love.

    Am I the only one who sees that this piece of legislation is not a win for this country at all? Spending is cut even more. And as a result, we'll lose even more jobs. The middle class are slowly being strangled to death, then held by the ankles, turned upside down. This is robbery. Plain and simple. Somebody needs to be perp walked and chucked in a deep, dark prison.

    This legislation is horrible. Because it don't address the problems. It addresses what the problems create.

    It's like this: I don't understand how a man with a broken leg shows up at a hospital, points at his leg, clearly in pain, and the doctor gives him Listerine; diagnoses the patient for bad breath?!?!?!

    Get rid of the Bush tax cuts for the filthy rich. Get us out of these foreign wars that suck up money, put our troops needlessly in harm's way and seem to have no visible benefit. Stop the oil subsidies to the companies who already have the most insanely profitable enterprises ever in the history of mankind.

    I am so tired of the filthy rich hiding behind Republicans. Equally tired of Republicans all the time wearing kneepads and serving them too.

    I'm voting every one of them out. Street sweeper. Dogcatcher. I don't care. They will ALL face my wrath at the voting booth. Because they are the root cause of the problem. I'm so tired of this false logic where it's always said the filthy rich need their tax cuts to continue in order to provide more jobs. It hasn't proven true for thirty years (and even longer...go back to Adam and Eve). Why does every Republican on the planet STILL think and hope and pray it will happen NOW? I really believe that if you are a Republican nowadays, you are required to get a frontal lobotomy...performed by the medical team composed of Doctor Sean Hannity and Brain Surgeon Rush Limbaugh, assisted by Nurses Michele Bachmann, Sara Palin and Ann Coulter.

    Get my ballot printed now. I'm ready. I can't wait for 2012. They are ALL gone. Time to put an end to this stupid madness. I want sanity in my politics.

  3. I believe it's time Democrats begin demanding a primary challenge for Obama.

    Obama's approval numbers are low, but the dirty secret that no Republicans will utter...the Republican's approval numbers are still lower than Obama's. American's want change, but not Republican change. We need a strong Democrat challenger to Obama.

  4. Colin:

    I don't know what planet you live on but try this: 47 percent of American families pay no federal income tax. Almost one-half of all families in the US.

    A family making $50,000 per year with two kids under 17 years of age pays nothing and may actually get some credits to show a profit at the end of the day.

    The reason why the rich get the income tax cuts is because they are paying the taxes. The people earning the top incomes contribute a disproportionately high share of federal income tax receipts. The top 10 percent pay about 70 percent of the income taxes in this country.

    http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-incom...

  5. Clarification--income tax should read personal income tax.

    Sorry.

    T

  6. If you look carefully at who is running the show in Washington, it's all men!! Obama, Biden, Reid, Boehner, McConnell, Kantor, etc. Republican or Democrat, they all suck!! If this debt ceiling vote debacle were run by women, this thing would have been solved a month ago! Women never would have let it get as far as it did! I'm a man, I voted for Obama over Hillary Clinton in the primary and now realise what a huge mistake that was! Only female candidates get my votes from now on... no sex scandals, no political posturing, and I know the job will get done correctly. If Gabby Giffords can leave her hospital bed to cast her vote in the house, none of these men have any excuse for not showing up to cast theirs!