WASHINGTON - (AP) - The Senate emphatically passed emergencylegislation Tuesday to avoid a first-ever government default,rushing the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signaturejust hours before the deadline. The vote was 74-26.Obama planned to sign the bill promptly and also was makingremarks at the White House.
Tuesday's vote capped an extraordinarily difficult Washingtonbattle pitting tea party Republican forces in the House againstObama and Democrats controlling the Senate.
The resultingcompromise paired an essential increase in the government'sborrowing cap with promises of more than $2 trillion of budget cutsover the next decade.
Much of the measure, which the House passed Monday night, wasnegotiated on terms set by House Speaker John Boehner, including ademand that any increase in the nation's borrowing cap be matchedby spending cuts. But the legislation also meets demands made byObama, including debt-limit increases large enough to keep thegovernment funded into 2013 and curbs on growth of the Pentagonbudget.