Wednesday, July 20, 2011

GOP passes spending-cap bill amid row

The US House of Representatives (file photo)

Source: Press TV

The US House Republicans have passed a bill to make considerable cuts in total expenses next year and put a huge cap on federal spending amid wranglings with the Democrats.

The Republican-controlled US House of Representatives passed legislation by a vote of 234-190 on Tuesday to cut total spending by $111 billion in the fiscal year 2012 and limit federal spending at 22.5 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), ABC News reported.

The legislation, called "Cap, Cut and Balance Act of 2011," also requires congressional approval of a Balanced Budget Amendment and its ratification by the states in exchange for raising the federal debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion as requested by the US administration.

The US hit its borrowing limit of $14.3 trillion on May 16, up from $10.6 trillion when President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

The bill, which is backed by the Tea Party movement, has faced opposition by the Democrats and is expected to be blocked in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

House Speaker John Boehner lauded Congress for passing the bill, saying that it will “stop the Washington spending binge and rein in the deficits that are hurting job growth.”

“Americans are still asking, 'where are the jobs?' And while President Obama simply talks tough about cutting spending, House Republicans are taking action,” he added.

This is while President Obama has threatened to veto the legislation if it manages to pass through the Senate.

“Rather than making progress on the debt limit to prevent these widespread consequences for America's middle class, this legislation takes us backward, throwing up further roadblocks to increasing the debt limit,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is a Democrat representative.

The Obama administration has warned that if the debt ceiling is not elevated by August 2, the US government will default on its debts, causing grave consequences for the United States.

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