TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Senate approves debt limit extension

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 6:32 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — Congress sent President Obama drama-free legislation on Thursday raising the debt ceiling, averting a government default and putting off the next tax-and-spending clash between the White House and Republicans until later in the year.

The measure cleared the Senate on a vote of 64-34, winning House approval late last week. It permits the Treasury to borrow above the $16.4 trillion debt limit through May 18. The White House has said Obama will sign it.

Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey voted to approve the legislation. Republican Pat Toomey opposed it.

“Failure to pass this bill will set off an unpredictable financial panic that would plunge not only the United States but much of the world back into recession,” Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said before the vote. “Every single American would feel the economic impact.”

But Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor that “government spending is completely out of control — and it's projected to get much worse in years to come.” His office issued a statement shortly after the vote saying he had opposed the legislation when Democrats torpedoed several GOP attempts to rein in spending before final passage.

The legislation reflects a switch in strategy by Republicans, whose insistence on deep spending cuts as a trade-off for a higher debt limit more than a year ago pushed the government to the brink of an unprecedented default. With polls showing their public support lagging, they now look ahead to a new season of potential showdowns, with a reshuffled batting order that moves the threat of a default to the back of a line that includes March 1 across-the-board spending cuts and the March 27 expiration of funding for most federal agencies.

The debt limit measure has only one string attached by House Republicans, a provision that would temporarily withhold the pay of lawmakers in either house that failed to produce a budget this year.

That was designed as a prod to the Senate, where majority Democrats have failed to bring a budget to a vote in any of the past three years. This year, they say they will. Republicans say they are eager for a comparison of plans, rather than a long year spent defending one of their own.

The next conflict over budget priorities has begun to take shape in an environment includes a fresh report that the economy unexpectedly declined in the last quarter, and the emergence of a warning from the Pentagon's top uniformed officers that pending Defense cuts could lead to a “hollow force.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Fetal parts in Planned Parenthood lab shown in 4th video
  2. OSU band song mocked Holocaust victims
  3. Feds eye use of federal dollars for ads for for-profit colleges
  4. McClatchy: Emails on Clinton’s private server contain Benghazi information
  5. Geological gem The Wave on Arizona-Utah border draws worldwide visitors
  6. Minn. dentist laying low in slaying of lion
  7. Christian college in Illinois to stop providing health care over Obamacare
  8. Only 1 co-op health program, of 23, made money in 2014, report says
  9. VA whistle-blowers aghast
  10. Wildfires force hundreds from homes in California
  11. Protesters ousted in bid to block Shell icebreaker on Portland river