BREAKING: Obama, congressional leaders strike deal to avoid debt default

By Kase Wickman
Sunday, July 31, 2011 20:40 EDT
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President Barack Obama settled on a plan with congressional leaders to avoid debt default, announced just past 8:30 p.m. Sunday night.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, in a floor speech, reassured Congress that there was a plan in place. A vote is planned to take place Monday.

“There is now a framework to review that will ensure significant cuts in our spending,” he said. “The United States will not default, for the first time in our history, on its obligations.”

To successfully avoid default, Congress must pass the deal tomorrow, in time to meet the August 2 deadline. Throughout the weekend, the main point of debate has been the triggers in place in the plan.

Obama delivered a brief statement to the press at the White House. Finding a deal has been “messy” and “has gone on far too long,” he said of the weeks-long negotiations.

The plan will allow the U.S. to avoid default, but also puts into place a series of triggers, as well as a bipartisan committee that will find further cuts and report back to the White House in November.

“In this stage, everything will be on the table,” Obama said of the November deadline.

The plan will cut $1 trillion of spending over 10 years.

“Is this the deal I would have preferred? No. I believe we could have made the tough choices required on entitlement reform and tax reform right now.” The deal will, however, “begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.”

Despite the fanfare of Sunday night’s announcement, a vote still must be held in each chamber, and the legislation itself must be passed by the Republican-held House and Democrat-dominated Senate.

“We’re not done yet,” Obama reiterated.

RELATED: Black Caucus, progressives to oppose debt deal

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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