House Passes Debt Ceiling Bill, Rep. Giffords Returns To Vote
Early this evening the House of Representatives passed the bill raising the debt ceiling, but that took second place to something that surprised everyone in the House:
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives on Monday passed the landmark compromise to raise the debt ceiling and sharply cut spending, drawing a solid majority of the Republicans, along with a about half of the Democrats, to push through a package that was ultimately described by many as an unpalatable necessity.
Passage came after weeks of brinksmanship and backroom dealing that left few satisfied in the more liberal or conservative wings of the House, but drew just enough from each party to put a compromise over the top in time, assuming the Senate goes along, to avert what might have become a calamitous default on the nation’s debt.
The tally, which had mounted excruciatingly slowly until the final seconds, was 269-161.
Then, to growing applause, Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, who was recovering from an attack several months ago, cast her vote, and as if a dam had burst the votes poured in.
The Giffords return had been announced only moments before the vote started when her office sent out an announcement via Twitter:
Given the partisan rancor of the past month or more, the bipartisan outburst of applause that greeted Giffords’ return to the floor of the House for the first time since January was a welcome change.
As for the bill itself, it now goes on to the Senate where it will be voted on sometime early tomorrow and sent to the President. Then, thankfully, Congress is in recess until after Labor Day.