FRESNO (TIP): President Barack Obama has signed separate measures lifting the federal debt limit and restoring full cost of living benefits for military retirees. Obama signed the bills into law Saturday, February 15 during a weekend golf vacation in Southern California.
The debt limit measure frees the government to borrow the money it needs to pay bills, such as Social Security benefits. Earlier, the GOP-controlled House backed away from a battle over the government’s debt cap and passed a measure extending Treasury’s borrowing authority with overwhelming support from President Barack Obama’s Democratic allies.
The 221-201 vote came hours after Speaker John Boehner announced that his fractured party would relent and not seek to add other items to the mustpass legislation. Twenty-eight Republicans voted yes. The bill permits Treasury to borrow normally for another 13 months and diffuses the chance of a debt crisis well past the November elections. Just Monday, February 10, Republicans had suggested pairing the debt measure with legislation to roll back a recent cut in the inflation adjustment of pension benefits for working age military retirees.