The President has signed the the compromise debt plan worked out between Congressional leaders and the White House. The Senate approved the plan earlier today: 60 votes were needed to pass it and the vote was 74-26.
28 Republicans, 45 Democrats and 1 Independent (Lieberman) voted in favor of the proposal, while 19 Republicans, 6 Democrats, and 1 Independent (Sanders) voted against the agreement.
Democrats voting against the bill: Gillibrand (NY), Harkin (IA), Lautenberg (NJ), Menendez (NJ), Merkley (OR), and Nelson (NE). Republicans voting against the bill: Ayotte (NH), Chambliss (GA), Coats (IN), Coburn (OK), DeMint (SC), Graham (SC), Grassley (IA), Hatch (UT), Heller (NV), Inhofe (OK), Johnson (WI), Lee (UT), Moran (KS), Paul (KY), Rubio (FL), Sessions (AL), Shelby (AL), Toomey (PA), and Vitter (LA).
The Republican-controlled U.S. House approved the plan on Monday. The vote was 269 to 161. 66 Republicans voted against the proposal and 95 Democrats voted in favor of the bill. See the full vote count here.
The measure raises the debt ceiling in several steps and would reduce the federal budget deficit by about $2.1 trillion over a 10-year period. The plan calls for a special joint committee that would be tasked with recommending where about $1.2 trillion of that deficit reduction should come from- in spending cuts or revenue. Those recommendations would then have to be voted on by the full House and Senate under special rules. If the joint committee or Congress fail to act, the bill calls for automatic across-the-board cuts.
Now that the President has signed the bill, Congress has 14 days to choose the twelve members of the special joint committee. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters he expects the chosen members to be "open to solutions, not ideologically rigid."
The plan also requires the House and Senate to vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, which would require a 2/3 majority in both houses. That vote must take place by December 31, 2011.
During the vote in the House, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords made an emotional appearance on the floor- voting for the first time since surviving an assassination attempt in January of this year. Just before her appearance she tweeted to her followers: "Gabrielle has returned to Washington to support a bipartisan bill to prevent economic crisis. Turn on C‑SPAN now."