The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are expected to vote Monday on a deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut the deficit, a compromise that President Barack Obama and leaders in Congress reached on Sunday night.
The votes come one day before the United States faced the prospect of an unprecedented default on the nation's debt. It follows several weeks of stop-and-start, high-stakes negotiations, nail-biting votes in Congress and stern warnings from all sides about the calamitous effect of inaction.
Obama announced the deal in an unscheduled appearance in the White House briefing room at 8:40 p.m. Sunday. News that political leaders appeared to have broken an impasse soothed frayed nerves and almost immediately buoyed global markets.
"There are still some very important votes to be taken by members of Congress, but I want to announce that the leaders of both parties in both chambers have reached an agreement that will reduce the deficit and avoid default," the president said.
The Senate plans a first vote on the deal on Monday afternoon, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told CNN. If the measure passes an expected Republican filibuster attempt, the House could vote on it Monday night, the aide said.
White House officials told CNN that congressional leaders worked hard to reach a deal, but declined to say whether they had been given assurances that the leaders had the votes to deliver its passage.
The proposed deal includes $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years while authorizing an increase in the federal debt ceiling by a slightly smaller amount to allow the government to pay its debts through 2012, according to information from the White House and a presentation for his Republican colleagues by House Speaker John Boehner.FULL STORY