President Obama Signs Debt Bill, First Steps to Avert Crises

By Scott Sarvay

August 2, 2011 Updated Aug 2, 2011 at 6:30 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – President Obama signed the debt bill early Tuesday afternoon shortly after the Senate voted 74- 26 in favor of the bill.

The President spoke from the White House Rose Garden before signing the bill saying, "It's an important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means, yet it also allows us to keep making key investments in things like education and research that lead to new jobs and assures that we're not cutting too abruptly while the economy's still fragile."

The debt bill lifts the government’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling enough to last beyond the November 2012 elections.

A special bipartisan "super committee" of 12 lawmakers, 6 Republican, 6 Democrat, will be tasked with making $1.5 Trillion in budget cut recommendations that will later be put before their peers in the House and Senate for a vote by December.

If they don't succeed, the new law would impose steep, automatic cuts across the federal budget, including defense programs and Medicare.

Some financial analysts speculate that the debt bill agreement was reached to late and that the United States’ AAA credit rating will be downgraded.

Ratings agency Standard and Poor's said in mid-July there was a 50-50 chance it would cut U.S. ratings in the next three months if lawmakers failed to craft a meaningful deficit-cutting plan.

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