The Republican-sponsored Cut, Cap and Balance Act passed the House Tuesday evening. The bill calls for drastic cuts in federal spending, a federal spending limit based on the GDP, and enshrines a balanced budget into the constitution before the debt ceiling can be raised from $14.3 trillion to $16.8 trillion. The bill still has to pass the Senate, controlled by the Democrats, and then be signed by the President, which he's said won't happen, before it will ever come into effect. Still, this is a big development in the ongoing dramatics surrounding the debt crisis. The L.A. Times' Michael A. Memoli reports that Democrats were almost unanimously against the bill, but that it, "clears the way for a final round of negotiations aimed at settling on a consensus plan that could move through both chambers." Negotiations are expected to resume tomorrow at the White House, and congress has been informed that weekend legislative sessions have been booked.
There were five Democrats who voted for the bill: Dan Boren (D-OK), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), and Heath Shuler (D-NC). There were seven Republicans who voted against the bill: Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Paul Broun (R-GA), Francisco Canseco (R-TX), Scott Desjarles (R-TN), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Walter Jones (R-NC), Connie Mack (R-FL), Ron Paul (R-TX), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).