Source: Xinhua | 2011-8-2 | ONLINE EDITION
THE US House of Representatives yesterday passed a last-ditch bipartisan debt ceiling plan to avert a looming debt default crisis.
US President Barack Obama announced Sunday night that he had reached a last-minute debt ceiling deal with Republican and Democratic leaders to avert a looming debt crisis.
The 269-161 vote in the Republican-held House cleared a key hurdle for the package to become law.
The passage of the bill in the lower chamber came after House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, and Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, yesterday struggled to get rank-and-file support from their parties and secure its passage.
The plan aimed at slashing deficit for more than US$2 trillion over the next decade, setting up a powerful new congressional bipartisan committee to find new ways on deficit cutting, and raising the US borrowing limit through 2013.
The US federal government's borrowing limit, currently at US$14.29 trillion, was reached on May 16. The Treasury Department said that it would run out of cash to pay its bills unless the Congress agreed to raise the limit by August 2.
"If the bill were presented to the president, he would sign it," the White House said in yesterday's statement prior to the House vote.
This bill still needs to clear a Democratic-controlled Senate, where the passage is widely expected. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill today.