On Sunday, President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) separately announced the agreement of Congressional leaders on a bipartisan deal to increase the debt limit and reduce the deficit.
“There are still some very important votes to be taken by members of Congress, but I want to announce that the leaders of both parties, in both chambers, have reached an agreement that will reduce the deficit and avoid default — a default that would have had a devastating effect on our economy,” the President said, speaking in a press briefing from the White House.
“Sometimes it seems our two sides disagree on almost everything. But in the end, reasonable people were able to agree on this: the United States could not take the chance of defaulting on our debt, risking a United States financial collapse and a world-wide depression,” Reid said in remarks on the Senate floor, shortly before Obama spoke to the Nation .
Details of the deal are still developing, but according to a fact sheet made available by the White House, the deal will increase the debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion, preventing the U.S. from having to raise it again until 2013. The deal will also immediately enact “10-year discretionary spending caps generating nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction,” and create a bipartisan committee tasked with finding an extra $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction.
The deal, while allegedly agreed upon by leaders from both parties according to Obama and Reid, still needs to be passed — and it will require significant bipartisan votes to overcome the resistance it is sure to meet on both sides of the aisle.
“I know this agreement won’t make every Republican happy. It certainly won’t make every Democrat happy, either. Both parties gave more ground than they wanted to. And neither side got as much as it had hoped. But that is the essence of compromise. And the American people demanded compromise this week,” Reid said.
“Now, is this the deal I would have preferred? No. I believe that we could have made the tough choices required — on entitlement reform and tax reform — right now, rather than through a special congressional committee process,” Obama said. “But this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need, and gives each party a strong incentive to get a balanced plan done before the end of the year.”