Monday, August 01, 2011

U.S. House Passes Debt Ceiling Compromise Bill 269-161; Don Young Votes Yes, Gabrielle Giffords Casts First Vote Since Getting Shot

By a vote of 269-161-3, the U.S. House of Representatives passed debt ceiling compromise legislation on August 1st, 2011. Some of the last minute drama was documented by The Hill; it was not a slam dunk. The roll call vote may appear confusing because it indicates that the legislation was piggybacked to S.365, a technical amendment to the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, but the actual legislation is called the Budget Control Act of 2011, which can be read HERE.

In summary, the bill would raise the debt ceiling to just below $1 trillion, along with $917 billion in spending cuts. After that, the bipartisan committee would be charged with finding $1.5 trillion in cuts before Thanksgiving. If Congress fails to enact the cuts by the end of the year, the debt ceiling would be raised, along with the automatic reductions in spending. The Associated Press published more expanded highlights HERE.

Alaska Congressman Don Young voted Yes. But even more noteworthy, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ8) showed up to cast her first vote since getting shot, and received a standing ovation. She also voted Yes. The next stop for the bill is the U.S. Senate, where passage is considered likely. A Senate vote may take place tonight, but is much more likely at 12 noon on Tuesday August 2nd. Both Alaska Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski have expressed support and are likely to vote Yes. Update August 2nd: The U.S. Senate passed this bill by a 74-26 vote.

Now for the links to the roll call vote. First from Govtrack, where the individual votes are grouped together by state:


And here's the more standard depiction from the Office of the Clerk:


International Reaction: Darmin Nasution, the governor of Bank Indonesia, the central bank, welcomed the news. He said that it eliminated a major concern that had been looming over world markets over the past several weeks. But the news did more than just stabilize markets in Asia and elsewhere. In Indonesia, the Jakarta Composite Index climbed 1.5 percent to close at a record high. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 stock average added 1.3 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.8 percent.

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