Obama, Boehner, Democrats Strike Debt Deal to Head Off Default

WASHINGTON (AP) - Ending a perilous stalemate, President Barack
Obama announced agreement Sunday night with Republican
congressional leaders on a compromise to avoid the nation's
first-ever financial default. The deal would cut more than $2
trillion from federal spending over a decade.

      Default "would have had a devastating effect on our economy,"
Obama said at the White House, relaying the news to the American
people and financial markets around the world. He thanked the
leaders of both parties.

      House Speaker John Boehner telephoned Obama at mid-evening to
say the agreement had been struck, officials said.

      No votes were expected in either house of Congress until Monday
at the earliest, to give rank-and-file lawmakers time to review the

      But leaders in both parties were already beginning the work of
rounding up votes.

      In a conference call with his rank and file, Boehner said the
agreement "isn't the greatest deal in the world, but it shows how
much we've changed the terms of the debate in this town."

      Obama underscored that point. He said that, if enacted, the
agreement would mean "the lowest level of domestic spending since
Dwight Eisenhower was president" more than a half century ago.

      Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid provided the first word of
the agreement.

      "Sometimes it seems our two sides disagree on almost
everything," he said. "But in the end, reasonable people were
able to agree on this: The United States could not take the chance
of defaulting on our debt, risking a United States financial
collapse and a world-wide depression."

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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