U.S. Senate passes last-ditch debt ceiling deal

08:31, August 03, 2011      

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The U.S. Senate Tuesday passed a last-minute bipartisan debt ceiling deal to stave off a looming debt default crisis.

The Senate passage came after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved it on Monday night on a vote of 269- 161. The Senate action cleared the last key hurdle for the bill to be signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Obama announced Sunday night that he had reached a last-ditch debt ceiling deal with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders.

The plan aimed at slashing deficit for more than 2 trillion U.S. dollars over the next decade, setting up a powerful new congressional bipartisan committee to find new ways on deficit cutting, and raising the U.S. borrowing limit through 2013.

The vote of 74 to 26 in the upper chamber showed strong bipartisan support for this hard-bargained deal after month-long partisan wrangling and negotiation.

The austerity bill that Congress just passed is an "important first step" for the nation's long-term fiscal consolidation, Obama said at a White House press conference after the bipartisan compromise deal finally cleared Congress Tuesday.

The White House said that Obama would sign the bill into law as soon as it lands on his desk.

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