With the nation on the razor’s edge of a government default, the last-ditch, bipartisan deal to raise the federal debt ceiling and slash the budget deficit cleared its largest hurdle Monday evening, as the Republican-controlled House easily passed the legislation by a 269-161 tally.
The Senate will vote at noon Tuesday. If it passes, the legislation would then go to President Obama's desk for signature and to avert a default, which the White House has maintained could have done catastrophic damage to the flagging economy.
Approval in the Senate is considered likely, as the unruly GOP caucus in the House had been viewed as most significant obstacle toward a resolution. "Tea party" conservatives spent much of the day bashing the bill, which would raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit in stages, along with comparably cutting the federal budget.
In a surprise, Rep.Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) returned to the House floor and cast her first vote since being wounded by gunman in Tucson in January. She voted in favor of the measure and received a rousing ovation....MORE
In this image from House television, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords appears on the floor of the House of Representatives during a vote on the debt ceiling. She was cheered even as the voting continued.
(Susan Walsh, AP)