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Veto-shmeeto, GOP passes Cut, Cap, and Balance Act

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Defying a veto threat, the  voted Tuesday night to slice federal spending by $6 trillion and require a constitutional balanced budget amendment to be sent to the states in exchange for averting a threatened Aug. 2 government default.

The 234-190 vote marked the power of deeply conservative first-term Republicans, and it stood in contrast to rising support at the  and in the  for a late stab at bipartisanship to solve the nation's looming debt crisis.

President  and a startling number of Republican senators lauded a deficit-reduction plan put forward earlier in the day that would include $1 trillion in what sponsors delicately called "additional revenue" and some critics swiftly labeled as higher taxes.

The president said he hoped congressional leaders would "start talking turkey" on a deal to reduce deficits and raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit as soon as Wednesday, using the plan by the so-called   of Six as a roadmap.

 cheered the news of possible compromise as well. The Dow Jones industrials average soared 202 points, the biggest one-day leap this year.

Treasury officials say that without an increase in U.S. borrowing authority by Aug. 2, the government will not be able to pay all its bills, and default could result with severe consequences for the economy.

But a few hours after Obama spoke at the  supporters of the newly passed  measure breathed defiance.

"Let me be clear. This is the compromise. This is the best plan out there," said Rep.  R-Ohio, head of a conservative group inside the  known as the 

The legislation, dubbed "Cut, Cap and Balance" by supporters, would make an estimated $111 billion in immediate reductions and ensure that overall spending declined in the future in relation to the overall size of the economy.

It also would require both houses of  to approve a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and send it to the states for ratification.

With a dwindling amount of time remaining, the day's events did little to suggest a harmonious end was in sight to a clash between the parties.

 Democrats have announced they will oppose the  passed-measure, although it could take two or three days to complete debate.

Debate in the  was along predictable lines, and only nine Republicans opposed the bill and five Democrats supported it on final passage.

"Our bloated and obese federal budget needs a healthy and balanced diet, one that trims the fat of overspending and grows the muscle of our nation's economy," said Rep.  of  during debate on the measure.

Ribble is one of 87 first-term  Republicans determined to reduce the size of government.

Democrats said the measure, with its combination of cuts and spending limits, would inflict damage on millions who rely on  Medicare and other programs. "The Republicans are trying to repeal the second half of the 20th century," said Rep.  D-Michigan.

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story | by Dr. Radut