Washington's latest crisis is over, as the president signs into law a bill to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default
Update, 2:20 p.m.: The bill has been signed into law.
President Obama's appearance in the Rose Garden Tuesday seemed like the end of a storm. He announced that the Senate had passed the deal he brokered with Congressional leaders, thanked the American people for "keeping up the pressure" on Congress, and talked the important work to be done after the August recess to create jobs. To all those caught up in the frenzy of the debt-ceiling fight in Washington these past few weeks, it seemed like a moment of relief. But it was only the eye of the storm, the "first step," as Obama called it.
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"I've said it before. I will say it again. We can't balance the budget on the backs of the very people who have borne the biggest brunt of this recession," Obama said at the podium, replaying his words of a week or two ago, before he conceded to a deal that did not immediately raise revenues. "Since you can't close the deficit with just spending cuts, we'll need a balanced approach. Where everything's on the table."
Progressive Democrats angry with Obama for what they see his role in abandoning calls for tax increases on the wealthy will welcome his remarks, promising a fight as a joing Congressional committee considers ways to cut the deficit by an additional $1.5 trillion. "Everyone has to chip in. It's only fair. That's the principle I'll be fighting for during the next phase of this process," Obama said, citing priorities he had to abandon in the final phase of the debt fight: reforming the tax code to increase revenues from the wealthy. Eliminating taxpayer subsidies to oil and gas companies and other tax loopholes that allow the rich to pay lower taxes than middle-class workers.