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House Approves Debt Reduction Bill

House Speaker John Boehner

The House of Representatives passed a Republican-backed plan Tuesday to extend the country’s borrowing capacity in return for a future cap on government spending and a balanced budget amendment, the LA Times reports.

The “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal, largely symbolic, was voted on to give voice to conservative Republicans who oppose raising the debt ceiling even if spending cuts are included. The proposal passed 234-190 with Democrats largely in opposition.

The plan is certain to stall in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and President Barack Obama has vowed to veto it if he sees it at his desk.

“I’m not going to give up hope on ‘cut, cap and balance,’ but I do think it’s responsible for us to look at what Plan B would look like,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “And the leadership had a long conversation yesterday about Plan B. There are a lot of options available to us. There have been no decisions made as yet.”

“Cut, Cap and Balance” would cut spending by $111 billion in 2012 and cap future outlays to 19.9 percent of the country’s gross domestic output. The plan also requires Congress to send a balanced budget amendment to the states for ratification.

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