[Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET] U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose vote for the debt-ceiling compromise bill Monday was the first vote she cast since she was shot in January, has released a statement:
"I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what’s going on in Washington," Giffords, D-Arizona, said. "After weeks of failed debate in Washington, I was pleased to see a solution to this crisis emerge. I strongly believe that crossing the aisle for the good of the American people is more important than party politics. I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy."
Her statement noted that she didn't vote for a debt-limit increase in December 2009 and February 2010. It said that Monday's vote was different, arguing that the strength of the U.S. economy was hanging in the balance.
Giffords had been away from the House since she was shot through the head during a meeting with constituents in Tucson. She was released from inpatient rehabilitation at a Texas medical center in June.
Six other people, including one of her aides and a federal judge, were killed and 12 others were wounded in the Tucson attack.
[Updated at 7:39 p.m. ET] The U.S. Senate is now expected to vote on the debt-ceiling compromise bill on Tuesday at noon.
The House passed the bill 269-161 earlier this evening. One of the representatives who voted yes was Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, who cast her first vote since she was shot in Tucson in January.
The two-stage deal reached Sunday by President Barack Obama and congressional leaders calls for $2.4 trillion in savings over the next decade, although the the Congressional Budget Office pegs the savings at $2.1 trillion. It also authorizes an increase in the nation's borrowing limit through the end of 2012. A special congressional committee to recommend long-term fiscal reforms is also part of the package.
In the first stage, $917 billion in spending cuts will be accompanied by a $900 billion increase in the debt ceiling. A special joint congressional committee would recommend a further $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions. If approved by the full Congress by year's end, Obama could raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion. If not, the ceiling could rise by $1.2 trillion, but doing so would trigger matching mandatory across-the-board spending cuts likely to be unpopular with both parties.
The legislation needs to reach Obama's desk by Tuesday at the latest, according to the Treasury Department. If the current $14.3 trillion debt limit is not increased by that point, the federal government wouldn't be able to pay all its bills on time, and Americans could face rapidly rising interest rates, a falling dollar and shakier financial markets, among other problems.
[Updated at 7:34 p.m. ET] The final tally of the House vote was 269-161 in favor of the debt-ceiling compromise bill. Sixty-six Republicans and 95 Democrats voted no.
The bill goes to the Senate, which is expected to vote Tuesday.
[Updated at 7:31 p.m. ET] More details on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' dramatic appearance and vote on the House floor - her first since she was shot in January - during Monday evening's vote on the debt-ceiling compromise bill:
Giffords, accompanied by her chief of staff, entered to a prolonged standing ovation. She was hugged by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Giffords walked to her seat and sat down to vote.
Democrats cheered more when Giffords voted yes, CNN's Deirdre Walsh reported. Pelosi wiped tears from her eyes.
Dozens of Republicans and Democrats mobbed around her, and she stood to greet them.
[Updated at 7:14 p.m. ET] U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who was shot in the head during a political event in her home state in January, came onto the House floor during the vote on the debt-ceiling compromise bill. She had been away from the House since the shooting, and was released from inpatient rehabilitation at a Texas medical center in June.
Her colleagues in the House applauded as she returned to the floor.
"Her presence ... brings honor to this chamber. ... Thank you, Gabby," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said on the House floor after the vote on the debt-ceiling compromise bill, which the House passed a few minutes ago.
[Updated at 7:06 p.m. ET] The U.S. House has passed the debt-ceiling compromise bill. The bill now goes to the Senate, which plans to wait until Tuesday to vote on it, according to multiple Senate leadership aides from each party.
[Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET] The U.S. House has started voting on the debt-ceiling compromise bill. The procedure will take 15 minutes.
[Updated at 6:19 p.m. ET] House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, has confirmed during debate on the House floor that she'll support the debt-ceiling compromise bill, though she lamented that the compromise fails to increase revenue from the nation's wealthy to help reduce deficits
Members of the House Democratic leadership generally had been quiet about whether they would support the bill.
The House is expected to vote on the bill this evening. The Senate may wait until Tuesday to vote on it, according to multiple Senate leadership aides from each party.
[Updated at 6:04 p.m. ET] The U.S. House could vote on the debt-ceiling compromise bill this evening, and the Senate may take it up tomorrow, according to leadership sources in both chambers.
The House, at about 5 p.m., began what was expected to be a roughly hourlong debate on the bill. The House could vote on the bill at about 6:45 p.m., a senior GOP leadership source told CNN's Deirdre Walsh.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, will support the deal, a House democratic leadership aide said, according to CNN's Kate Bolduan.
During debate on the House floor Monday, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, also said he would vote for the bill. House Members of the House Democratic leadership generally had been quiet about whether they would support it.
"I am voting for this bill, not because I like this bill, although it does do some things that I think need to be done" like addressing debt and returning to fiscal responsibility, he said. "But default for the United States of America is not an option."
Meanwhile, Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate are working on an agreement to hold a vote Tuesday, according to multiple Senate leadership aides from each party.
[Updated at 5 p.m. ET] CNN’s John King offered some analysis Monday afternoon on the state of the debt ceiling talks in Washington. Below are highlights:
- What's the deal in the House? "First the House passes a rule which lays out how long they will debate this, what amendments can and cannot be offered," King said. "Then they will actually get about to debating the legislation." He said, "They're trying to get the harder vote, the House vote, today."
- What's the deal in the Senate? "I'm told they hoped to get the Senate tonight," King said. Although the clock was ticking, "they haven't officially said no Senate vote tonight."
- What the accord entails: "A lot of the liberal left, all the liberal organizations, are saying the super committee is going to make Medicare cuts. Nobody's happy. Both the conservative right and the liberal left are very, very unhappy."
- Deadline: Midnight tonight or tomorrow? "Well, that's the big question," King said. "If the Senate holds its vote over, does the administration say, 'OK, you're going to do it sometime during the day tomorrow, we can work it for a couple of hours.' Remember, the president did say he would accept a short-term extension, short-term increase in the debt limit if they had the big framework." If legislators need an extra "24, 48 hours, they could resort to that," he said.
- How legislators feel about the deal: "Essentially the Democrats are saying 'Let's see how many Republicans go forward.' The Democrats are saying, 'Let's let John Boehner deal with his family feud before the Democrats,' " King said. "The Democrats are saying the president sat down at these negotiations and started by giving things away before the game had even started. Democrats are not happy about that," King said.
[Initial post] The House and Senate are expected to vote Monday on a plan that would lift the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and avoid an unprecedented default on the nation's debt.
The measure would reduce deficits by at least an estimated $2.4 trillion over a decade and create a bipartisan panel to recommend fiscal reform going forward.
In the first stage of the two-part plan, $917 billion in spending cuts will be accompanied by a $900 billion increase in the debt ceiling.
A special joint congressional committee would recommend a further $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions. If approved by the full Congress by year's end, Obama could raise the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion. If not, the ceiling could rise by $1.2 trillion. But doing so would trigger matching mandatory across-the-board spending cuts likely to be unpopular with both parties.
It remains unclear whether congressional leaders have the votes to ensure the bill's passage, particularly in the House.
Both Democrats and Republicans have major problems with the compromise. Democrats are livid over the extent of the deal's domestic spending cuts as well as the absence of any immediate tax increase on wealthier Americans. Several Republicans are worried about cuts in defense spending and the lack of a required balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.
If the debt ceiling is not raised Tuesday, the ripple-down effect would be immediate: The value of the U.S. dollar may drop. Americans could face rising interest rates, making mortgages and car and student loans more expensive.
In the House, as of 8:15 p.m. ET Monday
The House voted 269-161 on Monday to pass the agreement and send it to the Senate.
Republican leaders said the measure upholds their principles and begins to change the way that Washington spends taxpayer dollars.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while complaining that the compromise fails to increase revenue from the nation's wealthy to help reduce deficits, voted for the plan.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, made an emotional return to the House to cast her first vote - in favor of the plan - since being shot in the head in an assassination attempt in January. She received a prolonged standing ovation.
In the Senate, as of 8:15 p.m. ET Monday
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced the Senate would take up the agreement at noon on Tuesday. Reid said no amendments would be allowed, and approval would require a 60-vote super-majority in the 100-member chamber to pass.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Monday that he worries the bill cuts too much in defense spending but stressed that does not mean he will refuse to support it.
McCain added that fellow Republicans worried about giving too much ground in the compromise deal should be concerned about other things. "What they should worry about more than anything else is the view in which the American people hold us and their low opinion of us because we're failing to do what they think is our job," McCain told CNN's "American Morning."
President Barack Obama, emerging yet again Sunday night to appeal for public support, hailed the compromise agreement as an imperfect yet much-needed salve that "will reduce the deficit and avoid default - a default that would have had a devastating effect on our economy."
He said the deal was structured in a way "that we will not face this kind of crisis in six months, or eight months, or 12 months."
He asserted the first part of the agreement, cutting $1 trillion over 10 years, would reduce annual domestic spending to "the lowest level ... since Dwight Eisenhower was president."
Obama had said he would oppose any bill that didn't raise the debt ceiling through the 2012 election season - something, he said, that was satisfied under this compromise.