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U.S. debt bill clears main hurdle

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - 02:02

Aug 2 - The U.S. House of Representatives approves eleventh-hour debt crisis bill with Senate expected to follow suit. Paul Chapman reports.

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The U.S. House of Representatives approved the eleventh-hour deal to raise the U.S. borrowing limit. Later on Tuesday it's the Senate's turn. It's widely expected to follow suit. The deal is a crucial step in averting a catastrophic debt default by the world's biggest economy but it's by no means popular with Republicans or Democrats. SOUNDBITE: Democrat Nancy Pelosi, House minority leader, saying (English): "I'm not happy with it but I'm proud of some of the achievements contained in it, and that's why I'm voting for it." SOUNDBITE: Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, saying (English): "Both parties got us in this mess. Both parties are going to have to work together to get us out of this mess." Markets in Asia opened lower on Tuesday after the deal failed to allay fears that Washington could still lose its coveted triple-A credit rating. The deal will allow President Barack Obama to raise the U.S. borrowing limit by another 2.1 trillion dollars. It also opens the way for spending cuts on a similar scale over the next ten years. White House spokesman Jay Carney says the cloud of uncertainty over the U.S. economy is lifting but is critical of the time it's taken to achieve. SOUNDBITE: Jay Carney, White House spokesman, saying (English): "This was a mess, there is no question. It was a circus at times. We unnecessarily sent the message around the country and the globe that the United States might, in fact, default on its obligations for the first time in its history." Lawmakers of both sides welcomed Democrat Gabrielle Giffords back to Washington for the first time since she was shot in the head in January. Giffords, who voted in favour of the compromise bill, has been undergoing surgery and intensive rehabilitation after the attack by a gunman during a political event outside a supermarket in Arizona. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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U.S. debt bill clears main hurdle

Tuesday, August 02, 2011 - 02:02