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Monday
Aug012011

Americans Await Congressional Approval of Debt Ceiling Agreement 

Gavel and American flag(WASHINGTON) -- Nervous Americans from all facets of the political spectrum have been awaiting word from Capitol Hill that the weeks of anxious waiting for a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling are finally over, so America can pay its bills without going into unprecedented default.

A collective sigh of relief was heard Sunday evening when President Obama announced a tentative deal on the debt ceiling.  However, things can still unravel quickly if Tea Party Republicans in the House feel the cuts don’t go far enough, or liberal Democrats feel social programs precious to them are unfairly targeted.

The country has already gone through plenty of drama.  House Republicans last Friday finally agreed to plan by House Speaker John Boehner to lower the national debt and vote on a balanced budget amendment, only to see it turned away by Senate Democrats, who also watched as their own spending reduction plan came up well short of the votes needed for passage.

With the clocking ticking closer toward August 2 and a possible disastrous default, Senate Democratic and Republican leaders seriously started heeding President Obama's urgent call for compromise.
The White House also stressed there were no guarantees that checks to retirees, veterans and American's current military personnel would be mailed after Tuesday unless an agreement was reached.

While specifics about the deal weren’t immediately available, it’s believed that the cuts totaling between $2 trillion and $3 trillion would be divided equally between defense and domestic spending.

Still, all it takes is a combination of 217 House Republicans and Democrats to scuttle the deal and potentially send the economy spiraling downward.

For now, things are looking up.  World markets Monday responded favorably to the agreement and Wall Street is expected to at least partially reverse last week's 500-point loss. Economists, however, aren't entirely sure if the nation's Triple A credit rating is still solid, even if Congress approves the deal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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