Date published: August 22, 2011
The congressional Republican leadership agreed to White House demands to raise the national debt by as much as $2.4 trillion and continue deficit spending into the indefinite future before an August 2 deadline. The Obama-Boehner debt limit, the so-called Budget Control Act of 201 1, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 269-161 vote August 1, primarily as a result of Republican votes (Democrats were evenly divided), while in the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans favored the measure in a 74-26 vote August 2.
The deal will trim about $900 billion from the anticipated $7-8 trillion deficit over the next 10 years - a little more than 10 percent of the total - and allow total federal spending to continue to grow rapidly. It will also punt future fiscal discipline to a bipartisan commission the bill creates, which will be charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction.
All of official Washington touted the deal of perpetuating deficit spending indefinitely as one of fiscal responsibility. "Our framework is now on the table that will end this crisis in a manner that meets our principles of smaller government," House Speaker John Boehner told the press after reaching the deal with the White House.
The last-minute debt- limit deal also meant that both Obama and the House Republicans explicitly broke their campaign pledges to post the text of legislation on their respective websites 72 hours before signing/voting on it.