WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- The House overwhelmingly passed a bill to permit the government to borrow enough money to avoid a first avoid default for at least four months, defusing a crisis looming next month and setting the stage for a springtime debate over taxes, spending and the deficit.
The House passed the measure on a bipartisan 285-144 vote as majority Republicans back away from their previous demand that any increase in the government's borrowing cap be paired with an equivalent level of spending cuts.
"Frankly I think it is time for the Senate and the White House to produce a budget that will balance over the next ten years," Republican House Speaker John Boehner said. "Most Americans will look up and say why do they need ten years to balance the budget, but we know with baby boomers retiring and the fact that it wasn't prepared for it, is going to take a little more time. But my goodness we ought to be able to balance the budget in the next ten years."
"We owe it to our constituents to fix this," Republican Congressman from Wisconsin Paul Ryan said. "This isn't a Republican or a Democrat thing, this is a math thing and the math is vicious and it is hurting our country and it is hurting the next generation and it is hurting our economy and the sooner we can solve this problem the better off everyone is going to be."
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said the chamber would immediately move to advance the legislation to the White House, which has announced that Obama would sign it.
"We believe strongly that this is a way forward," Reid said. "As Senator Schumer said this is clearly a victory for the president. There is no longer the brinksmanship and that is why I threw bouquets on more than one occasion during my remarks to the Speaker. That is how we feel."