Gabrielle Giffords Returns to Vote on Debt Ceiling Bill
Standing Ovation for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as Debt Ceiling Bill Passes 269-161
The US House of Representatives passed a bill that would see the debt ceiling rise by a vote of 269-191. The highlight of the vote was the return of Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), making her first Congressional appearance since getting shot in the head six months ago. Gabrielle Giffords got a standing ovation when she entered the House.
The wrangling over the debt ceiling has left the rest of the world's nations scratching their heads. The bill heads for the Senate, which could vote as early as tonight. The Senate had best get cracking: the deadline for extending the debt ceiling is August 2.
The debt ceiling bill targets trillions in discretionary spending, but does not address actually raising money: the GOP got to keep its tax cuts. Meanwhile, the debt ceiling is raised by $2.4 trillion through 2012 as the so-called "supercommittee" looks for additional budget items to cut.
The second stage of cuts will comes after a congressional supercommittee meets. The 12-member group, equally split between the House and Senate, and Democrats and Republicans, has to come up with a plan by Thanksgiving.
If the group does not reach a plan, there will be automatic spending cuts in defense and domestic spending. Republicans will want to avoid the former and Democrats will want to prevent the latter.
Nobody on either side of the aisle seems to like the bill very much, but it's a dilemma of Congress' own creation; particularly on the right side of the aisle, if we're all honest. So, the US may raise its debt ceiling (an artificial construct to begin with), but we end up looking like idiots. If we want other nations to keep investing in us, we have to not look like idiots.