August 2nd, 2011
11:40 AM ET

Senate expected to pass debt plan, end crisis Tuesday

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on a last-minute compromise plan Tuesday to raise the nation's debt ceiling while imposing sweeping new spending cuts and narrowly averting an unprecedented national default.

Senators are set to vote on the plan about noon. Although the bill requires a supermajority of 60 votes to clear the 100-member chamber, it is expected to be easily approved.

The measure was approved by the House of Representatives on Monday by a 269-161 vote, overcoming opposition from unhappy liberal Democrats and tea party Republicans.

The measure needs to be signed into law by President Barack Obama before the end of the day. If the current $14.3 trillion debt limit is not increased by that point, Americans could face rapidly rising interest rates, a falling dollar and shakier financial markets, among other problems.

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August 1st, 2011
07:26 AM ET

Debt deal vote likely on Monday, party sources say

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.

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Filed under: Economy • Politics • Taxes