Here's What's Happening
Tuesday, August 2 2:03 PM/ET: Done Deal
From NBC News:The President has signed the debt ceiling bill and it's now law, says the White House.
....and so it's a wrap for us here on the blog.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments. And if you should feel a bit let down from all this drama, just remember the words of the President, remember, we "may have chosen divided government, but (we) sure didn't vote for dysfunctional government."
Tuesday, August 2 1:58 PM/ET: And Just Like That ...
Senate Passes Debt Plan to Avert Default (New York Times)
The Senate voted Tuesday to raise the government’s debt ceiling and cut trillions of dollars from its spending, finally ending a fractious partisan battle just hours before the government’s borrowing authority was set to run out.
The bill, which passed 74 to 26 after a short debate devoid of the oratorical passion that had echoed through both chambers of Congress for weeks, was headed for the White House, where President Obama was poised to sign it immediately.
A few minutes later, Mr. Obama said he would sign the bill right away, but excoriated his opposition for what he called a manufactured crisis that could have been avoided. “ Voters may have chosen divided government,” he said, “but they sure didn’t vote for dysfunctional government.”
No, Thank YOU!!
From NBC News:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement upon Senate passage of the Budget Control Act to cut spending and avoid default:
"This is a positive step forward that begins to rein in federal spending, but it's only a step. We should save the celebration for when a Balanced Budget Amendment is ratified, the deficit is fixed, and our economy has returned to creating jobs.
"I congratulate my friend Senator McConnell on his remarkable leadership in guiding this legislation through the Senate."
Tuesday, August 2 1:15 PM/ET: We're Not Yet Finished
President Barack Obama says the emergency bill Congress passed to prevent a government default is just the first step to ensuring the country lives within its means.
Speaking in the Rose Garden, Obama says lawmakers still need to find a balanced approach to reducing the deficit that includes some adjustments to Medicare and reforming the tax code so the wealthy pay more.
Obama spoke shortly after the Senate passed the bill to raise the debt ceiling and avert a potentially catastrophic default. The House approved the bill Monday.
The White House says Obama will sign the bill as soon as it lands on his desk.
Tuesday, August 2 12:50 PM/ET -Market Reaction
U.S. stocks extended losses and hit session lows after the Senate passed the bill to cut spending and raise the debt ceiling.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 146.63 points, or 1.21 percent, to 11,985.86. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 19.22 points, or 1.49 percent, to 1,267.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 37.27 points, or 1.36 percent, to 2,707.34.
Tuesday, August 2 12:46 PM/ET - Time To Hit The Showers
Congress buried the specter of a U.S. debt default by finally passing a deficit-cutting package on Tuesday, but the shadow lingered of a possible painful downgrade of the top-notch American credit rating.
Just hours before the Treasury's authority to borrow funds ran out, the Senate voted 74 to 26 to pass a hard-won compromise to lift the government's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling enough to last beyond the November 2012 elections.
President Barack Obama, who will seek a second term next year, was expected to immediately sign the deal into law, although without any White House ceremony.
His signature would draw the line under months of bitter partisan squabbling over debt and deficit strategy that had threatened chaos in global financial markets and dented America's stature as the world's economic superpower.
There was little suspense about the outcome of the vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The bill overcame its biggest hurdle late on Monday when the Republican-led House of Representatives passed the $2.1 trillion deficit-reduction plan despite some resistance from recalcitrant Tea Party conservatives and disappointed liberal Democrats.
Deep uncertainty remained, however, over whether the budget deal goes far enough in reining in deficits to satisfy major ratings agencies, which have threatened to downgrade the United States' AAA credit rating. Such a move would raise borrowing costs and act as another drag on the stumbling economy.
Ratings agency Standard and Poor's said in mid-July there was a 50-50 chance it would cut U.S. ratings in the next three months if lawmakers failed to craft a meaningful deficit-cutting plan.
S&P could downgrade U.S. ratings soon after the bill is signed by Obama, given that the agency will have all the information it needs to make a decision. (AP Wires)
Tuesday, August 2 12:46 PM/ET - Keeping Score
From NBC News:
7 Democrats voting against the bill:
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
- Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
- Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
- Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
- Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)
- Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
19 Republicans voting against the bill:
- Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
- Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
- Sen. Daniel Coats (R-IN)
- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
- Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
- Sen. Orin Hatch (R-UT)
- Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
- Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)
- Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
- Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
- Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
- Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
- Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA)
- Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
Independents voting against the bill:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Tuesday, August 2 12:43 PM/ET: Alert:The Senate has approved an emergency bill to avert a first-ever government default with just hours to spare.
The strong bipartisan vote was 74-26.
The measure now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature. The legislation makes a down payment on taming out-of-control budget deficits.
Tuesday, August 2 12:35 PM/ET: Alert - Debt Deal Passes The Senate - President Obama Expected to Make Statement Shortly!
Tuesday, August 2 12:29 PM/ET: Alert - 60 senators sufficient to pass emergency debt limit bill vote for it, roll call continues
Tuesday, August 2 12:16 PM/ET: Debt Vote in the Senate is Underway NOW
Tuesday, August 2 11:42 PM/ET: We're Winding Down