The center can hold. That's at least part of the big-picture takeaway after the House passed a lopsided if 11th-hour debt ceiling and deficit reduction bill by a refreshingly bipartisan margin of 269 to 161.
Unemployment is over 9%, and set to stay high for the next several years. The economic recovery is stumbling badly. And our political leaders have spent the past few months in heated debate about whether we should pay the bills Congress already agreed to take on.
The burst of enthusiasm for the "Gang of Six" debt reduction plan as a way out of the debt ceiling crisis has appeared to fade as Democratic and Republican lawmakers studied and found fault with the details of the proposal.
The U.S. House on Tuesday night passed the "cut, cap and balance" deficit reduction plan backed by tea party conservatives but dismissed by President Barack Obama, who offered strong praise for another proposal put together by a bipartisan group of senators.
Members of a bipartisan group of senators who worked for months to forge an agreement to make deep reductions in the federal debt will unveil a plan to slash trillions of dollars off that debt over the next 10 years.