U.S. House Passes Bill That Would Defuse Debt Crisis

WASHINGTON (January 23, 2013)--The U.S. House passed a bill
Wednesday that would permit the government to borrow enough money to avoid a first avoid default for at least four months, defusing a crisis looming next month and setting the stage for a springtime debate over taxes, spending and the deficit.

The House passed the measure by a 285-144 vote, a bipartisan showing on an initiative brought by majority Republicans.

The GOP was backing away from its previous demand that any increase in the government's borrowing cap be paired with an equivalent level of spending cuts.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said the chamber would immediately move to advance the legislation to the White House, which has announced that Mr. Obama would sign it.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, touted the provision of the measure that would deny lawmakers their paychecks if they continue to fail to pass a budget.

“The House has done its job every year, while the Senate has refused to pass a budget four years running,” Carter said.

“For this body to agree to any increase in the debt ceiling, this outrage has to end, and this bill does that. If the House or Senate fails to pass a budget by April 15, the Members of the respective body will receive no pay until they comply. It is past time for the Senate to start doing their job.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, said he hopes the House vote will force Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass a budget.

“The spending problem in Washington is harming our economy, killing jobs and mounting up a mountain of debt on the backs of Americans. This is an unfair burden to pass on to our children and grandchildren,” Flores said.

“In order to address the problem, both the House and Senate must pass a budget to cut spending and balance the federal budget. The Senate has not passed a budget in nearly four years – 1,365 days to be exact,” he said.

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