Debt-ceiling bill includes $17B increase in Pell Grants


Even though Obama strongly supported the measure, half of the House Democrats opposed it. Sixty-six conservative Republicans opposed the measure as well. Still, after storming the Capital in January, many junior House lawmakers opted to view the legislation through the prism of optimism.

“It’s about time that Congress come together and figure out a way to live within our means,” said Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis. “This bill is going to start that process, although it doesn’t go far enough.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said the Republicans got the better of the deal.

“Republicans intentionally created a crisis in order to get their way,” Schakowsky said. “This is the wrong medicine for a sick economy. This bill could increase unemployment, slow economic growth, and deepen already historic income inequality.”

In the Senate, support from Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky virtually guarantees the measure will receive the 60 votes required to pass on Aug. 2. The vote is set for noon, plenty of time to ship the measure up Pennsylvania Avenue to Obama. The administration has said that without the new borrowing authority, the government won’t be able to pay all its bills after Aug. 2.

Enactment of the measure would provide welcome closure for Obama, who has seen his poll numbers sag during the debt limit battle.

GOP presidential candidates such as Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann issued statements opposing the legislation.

“As with any compromise, the outcome is far from satisfying,” Obama conceded in a video his re-election campaign sent to millions of Democrats.

In a tweet, the president was more positive: “The debt agreement makes a significant down payment to reduce the deficit—finding savings in both defense and domestic spending.”

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