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FINALLY Senate Clears Debt-Ceiling Bill J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Senate Clears Debt-Ceiling Bill

They ran down the clock again, but Washington has finally found a way out of its latest crisis. The Senate approved a plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and trim future deficits, gathering the 60 votes required and sending the bill to Obama for his signature. Before the vote, the Treasury was due to default on some of its loans at midnight Tuesday evening. The pending law, which passed the House comfortably with a bipartisan vote, will immediately raise the debt ceiling by $400 billion and also sets up a bipartisan joint committee of lawmakers to cobble together a new round of cuts by January. If they don’t succeed, an automated round of harsher cuts sets in.

August 2, 2011 12:25 PM