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Giffords Makes Dramatic Appearance to Vote For Debt Bill. House Passed Measure 269 to 161

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UPDATE: The House of Representatives has passed a compromise debt bill Monday evening 269-161. And in a dramatic moment, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords appeared back on the floor of the House since she was shot in the head by an assailant on Jan. 8. Giffords returned to the nation's capital to support the bipartisan bill. Giffords entered the chamber to loud, sustained applause and a standing ovation by her colleagues, who huddled around her to give hugs, kisses and handshakes.

The final vote was 269 to 161, with 66 Republicans and 95 Democrats voting no. The complicated legislation would raise the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion.

The U.S. Senate is expected to take up the legislation as soon as Monday evening or Tuesday, hours before a deadline that might have led to a federal default.

ORIGINAL POST

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.

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.

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