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Senate to vote on debt plan after House OKs bill

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Senate to vote on debt plan after House OKs bill

Deal garnered 269-161 from House on Monday

  • Speaker of the House John Boehner announces the passage of the debt ceiling bill Monday in Congress.
    ReutersVideo screengrabSpeaker of the House John Boehner announces the passage of the debt ceiling bill Monday in Congress.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday voted 269-161 to approve a deal to raise the debt limit in a bill that would cut government spending by trillions and effectively raise the debt ceiling through the end of 2012.

The bill, which was brokered in last-minute negotiations between the White House and Congressional leaders, passed with the support of 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats, CBS reported this evening.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Tucson — in her first appearance back on the House floor since she was shot in the head on Jan. 8 in Tucson — was one of only two Arizona representatives to vote yes on the Budget Control Act of 2011, along with Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Flagstaff.

Before the vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "it's hard to believe we are putting our best foot forward with the legislation that comes before us today."

The plan will cut nearly $1 trillion in government spending over the next 10 years and raise the amount of money the U.S. is legally allowed to borrow by enough to avoid another showdown on the matter before next year's presidential election, CBS reported.

The bill allows the United States to keep borrowing money to pay its bills while cutting about $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, VOA reported.

It had just "lukewarm support" overall — Conservatives said it does not cut enough, and liberals complained the cuts were too severe and that the bill didn't raise taxes on the rich. 

The United States faces a Tuesday deadline to raise its debt ceiling or risk the first full-scale default in the country's history. Global markets rallied Monday on news that Washington had agreed on a deal. But U.S. stocks seesawed and have seen seven straight days of losses.

The deal, reached between Democratic and Republican party leaders, would see the U.S. debt limit raised by up to $2.4 trillion over 10 years from the current $14.3 trillion. The U.S. budget deficit would be reduced over the next decade by a similar amount, the BBC reported.

In a remark prior to the Monday evening vote, Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., accused the Tea Party of taking the American economy "hostage" and expressed his hope that the bipartisan congressional committee determining the second round of cuts would consider the "priorities of this nation."

The bill next goes to the Senate, where leadership aides told CBS News that the Senate will vote on the debt plan Tuesday expected around 9 a.m., Arizona time. The bill is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law by the president soon afterward.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Monday that he will support the bill when it reaches the Senate Tuesday. Aides to Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., could not be reached to comment on his vote.

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