WASHINGTON (The Blaze/AP) -- The House has passed legislation designed to keep the government from defaulting on its debts. The measure also sets a course for reducing the federal deficit in the future.
The Senate, where support is stronger, is expected to take up the bill on Tuesday, the deadline for Congress to act before the government loses its ability to pay all its bills.
The 269-161 vote in the House came after Republican leaders spent the day urging recalcitrant conservatives to support the bill.
The bill would raise the debt ceiling by more than $2 trillion and cut federal spending by a similar amount over the next decade. A special congressional committee would be set up to consider entitlement and tax changes.
This was also the first vote cast by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords since being critically injured during a shooting rampage in Arizona. According to Fox News Insider, Giffords shared why she felt she "had to be here for this vote":
“I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what’s going on in Washington,” Giffords said. “After weeks of failed debate in Washington, I was pleased to see a solution to this crisis emerge. I strongly believe that crossing the aisle for the good of the American people is more important than party politics. I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy.”
You can watch Giffords receive a standing ovation as she appears on the House floor to cast her vote: