Business, Economics and Jobs

U.S. Congress prepares to vote on debt deal



U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gives a thumbs up when asked whether a deal has been reached regarding the ongoing debate on the national debt reduction on July 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. As the United States approaches the possibility of a default, the congressional leaders and the White House try to reach an agreement on measures to lift the debt ceiling. Congress is expected to vote on the deal August 1, 2011.


Astrid Riecken

The U.S. Congress is preparing to vote Monday on a last-minute deal to raise the country’s debt ceiling and avoid defaulting on its bills.

Majority Leader Harry Reid said that debt limit increase legislation would be completed in the Senate by Tuesday, Reuters reported, Monday afternoon.

"This vote could happen either tonight or tomorrow," Reid said from the Senate floor. The vote in the Senate was originally scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.

The United States is staring down a Tuesday, August 2 deadline to raise its debt ceiling or risk the first full-scale default in the country's history, a possibility that has spread growing concern across international markets. Global markets rallied Monday on news that Washington had agreed on a deal.

The deal, reached Sunday between Democratic and Republican party leaders, would see the U.S. debt limit raised by up to $2.4 trillion over 10 years from the current $14.3 trillion. The U.S. budget deficit would be reduced over the next decade by a similar amount, the BBC reports.

More from GlobalPost: Agreement is reached to end U.S. debt crisis, Obama says

Republican and Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate are meeting with their own party members Monday in an attempt to convince them to support the debt deal.

Some lawmakers from both parties are still expected to oppose it. Many Democrats oppose the prospect of cuts to social services, while some Republicans have refused to back any increase to the debt limit.

The deal needs to pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate to become law.

More from GlobalPost's Planet Pic: America’s Debt Crisis in Photos