Senate takes up debt limit bill, passage likely

August 2, 2011 - 3:15 AM
Debt Showdown

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, returns to his office after emergency legislation to avert a government default and cut federal spending passed a showdown vote in the House of Representatives, at the Capitol, in Washington, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is on track to send President Barack Obama emergency legislation to avert a potentially disastrous government default and make a down payment toward taming out-of-control budget deficits

The bipartisan measure easily passed the House on Monday and is virtually assured to clear the Senate shortly after noon Tuesday by a wide tally. The White House promises Obama will sign the measure into law.

Passage would avert a potentially disastrous first-ever default on U.S. obligations. It caps a long, difficult battle between tea-party-powered House Republicans and Obama — with House Speaker John Boehner caught in the middle more than once.

The legislation pairs an increase in the government's borrowing cap with promises of more than $2 trillion of budget cuts over the upcoming decade.