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House Passes Budget Control Act, Senate Poised to Reject


From The Associated Press:

Riven by partisanship, the Republican-controlled House approved emergency legislation Friday night to prevent a threatened government default and bundled it off to swift and certain defeat in the Senate.

“We are almost out of time” for a compromise, warned President Barack Obama as U.S. financial markets trembled at the prospect of economic chaos next week.

The final outcome–with the White House and Senate Democrats calling anew for compromise while criticizing Republicans as Tuesday’s deadline drew near–was anything but certain.

The House vote was 218-210, almost entirely along party lines.

The legislation would provide a quick $900 billion increase in U.S. borrowing authority–essential to allow the government to continue paying all its bills–along with $917 billion in cuts from federal spending.

It was rewritten hastily overnight to say that before any additional increase in the debt limit could take place, Congress must approve a balanced budget-amendment to the Constitution and send it to the states for ratification.

“Today we have a chance to end this debt limit crisis,” declared House Speaker John Boehner, who had been forced by rebels in his own party to put off a scheduled vote 24 hours earlier.

But the change relating to the balanced budget amendment, a concession to tea party-backed conservatives and others, further alienated Democrats. And it diminished prospects of a compromise that can clear both houses and win Obama’s signature by next Tuesday’s deadline.

At the other end of the Capitol, Senate Democrats waited to reject the bill as swiftly as possible in a prelude to another attempt at compromise.

Read the whole thing here.


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