Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–August 1, 2011. The House of Reprentatives has passed the controversial bipartisan debt ceiling compromise bill, ‘The Budget Control Act of 2011.’ In addition to raising the nation’s debt ceiling in order to avoid a default on the national debt, the bill will:
- Establish caps on discretionary spending through 2021;
- Allow for certain amounts of additional spending for “program integrity” initiatives aimed at reducing the amount of improper benefit payments;
- Make changes to the Pell Grant and student loan programs;
- Require that the House of Representatives and the Senate vote on a joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution;
- Establish a procedure to increase the debt limit by $400 billion initially and procedures that would allow the limit to be raised further in two additional steps, for a cumulative increase of between $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion;
- Reinstate and modify certain budget process rules;
- Create a Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose further deficit reduction, with a stated goal of achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years; and
- Establish automatic procedures for reducing spending by as much as $1.2 trillion if legislation originating with the new joint select committee does not achieve such savings.
The bill now moves on to the Senate for further action in the morning.
An emotional moment on the House floor took place when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was brought to the House to vote on the bill. This was the Congresswoman’s first return to the House since being shot by a would-be assassin in January.