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Dianne Feinstein backs debt-ceiling agreement

August 01, 2011|By Shane Goldmacher
(AP/Luis M. Alvarez )

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Monday that she supported the deficit-reduction package agreed upon by congressional leaders and President Obama, calling it a “settlement of necessity” to avert a federal default.

“Obviously, it’s a compromise and it’s hard,” she said, emerging from a meeting of Democratic senators attended by Vice President Joe Biden.

Feinstein, a Democrat, said reaching an accord to keep the federal government solvent is necessary to protect a fragile economy. Failure could trigger “a real recession from a kind of moribund economy” that has beset the nation for months, she said.

Top Democratic and Republican lawmakers raced across the Capitol on Monday to line up votes for the plan. Feinstein predicted a “majority” of her Senate colleagues would ultimately back the compromise package.

The proposed deal would lift the debt ceiling sufficiently to allow the federal government to borrow money to pay its bills into 2013. Spending cuts would also be enacted, in two stages, including an initial nearly $1 trillion in domestic cuts over a decade. A second round of roughly $1.5 trillion would be left to a bipartisan special congressional committee.

Feinstein urged swift passage. “The alternative is calamitous,” she said.

shane.goldmacher@latimes.com

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