(CBS) -President Obama signed a hard-fought, last-minute compromise bill to avert economic catastrophe Tuesday, saying the deal to cut spending and increase the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit marked an “important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means.”
The bill, he said, was the outcome of a “long and contentious debate” to avoid a man-made economic disaster that he described as creating “unsettling” economic uncertainty. He said that while voters chose divided government, “they sure didn’t vote for dysfunctional government.”
“It shouldn’t take the risk of default, the risk of economic catastrophe, to get folks in this town to get together and do their jobs,” the president said. He added: “Our economy didn’t need Washington to come along with a manufactured crisis to make things worse.”
Mr. Obama signed the legislation in a closed-door ceremony Tuesday afternoon after making remarks at the White House. It will effectively increase the nation’s borrowing authority through the end of next year and promises more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years.