After weeks of heated debate, Congressional leaders announced late Sunday that a deal to avert an unprecedented U.S. debt default has been reached.
The deal calls for a first round of cuts totaling $917 billion over the next decade and allows the president to raise the national debt limit by more than $900 billion, according to our partners at the Huffington Post.
Officials had feared that if a deal was not reached by tomorrow, the country would default on its national debt for the first time in history, causing economic upheaval. The agreement would not raise taxes.
Lawmakers should vote on the measure sometime today.
In the meantime, Cranberry Patch went into to the community to get local reaction on the agreement -- and the process it took to reach it. Nearly everyone interviewed agreed that the negotiations before congressional leaders struck a deal went on far too long.
Seven Fields resident Stephan Swentkowky, who was working from his laptop at the Starbucks on Freedom Road, said that he wishes a deal had been put into place well before the nation was pushed to brink of defaulting on its obligations.
“When you’re under pressure is when a lot of mistakes are made,” he said.
Cutis Graf, who live in Zelienople and owns a construction business there, was not happy with the agreement because he said it still calls for too much federal spending.
“They're spending too much to begin with,” he said. “The baseline budget is a joke. They just need to cut across the board.”
A rising senior at Seneca Valley Senior High School, Tara Rae, of Cranberry, said President Barack Obama should offer citizens a better plan to get the nation out of debt.
“I think Obama is getting us into more debt than he should,” she said. “I think he should be better at letting us know what we can do to get out of debt.”
Cranberry resident Mike Joseph, who was spending time at the Cranberry Public Library Monday, said leaders should have cast aside politics in the debt process and done what was best for the country.
“They don’t want to toe the line when it comes to their party leaders,” he said. “They’re only there for their own ends.”
The next round of nearly $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction will be decided by a 12-member bipartisan committee of lawmakers -- the group will be split both chambers.
This "Super Congress" must present the cuts to fellow lawmakers by Thanksgiving -- the rest of Congress will not have the ability to amend or filibuster the committee's recommendations.
But, according to Gibsonia resident Sandi Johnson, sometimes compromise is what's needed when striking a deal.
“I think it took far too long to come to the agreement,” she said. “I don’t think either side is especially elated, but that’s what a compromise is.”
Have you been following the negotiations? Were you concerned about a national debt default?
How might this new deal impact local communities such as Cranberry? Share your thoughts with Patch and your neighbors.