Senate Passes Debt Ceiling/Spending Cut Measure
By a 74-26 vote, the Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that raises the debt ceiling and cut spending, and sent it on to for President Obama's signature just before 2:00 P.M.
The measure, which combines a $900 billion increase in the debt ceiling and spending cuts of $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years, was the culmination of several weeks of tense negotiations between the Obama administration and congressional leaders.
Monday night’s House vote was 269-161 and featured a dramatic appearance by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in her first return to the Capitol since she was grievously injured in a shooting last January in Tucson.
The package didn’t include any tax increases or reductions in tax expenditures, such as the credit union tax exemption. However, those could be included when a House-Senate committee makes recommendations for additional savings later this year. Those recommendations must be voted on by each chamber, without amendments. If lawmakers reject those recommendations, there is a “trigger,” for automatic spending cuts.