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A Librarian’s Primer on the Debt-Ceiling Deal

American Libraries, Wed, 08/10/2011 - 11:55

By Rich Stombres

Now that the debate over raising the debt ceiling is over and the smoke is beginning to clear, the question remains: What does this really mean? And, more specifically, what does this mean for libraries?

First, a recap: With little time to spare, Congress finally passed on August 2 the Budget Control Act of 2011, which allows the president to borrow more money to pay off our ever-increasing national debt. The final bill that was produced after several weeks of private negotiations and acrimonious public debate contained a number of wide-ranging provisions designed to reduce federal spending without raising taxes, along with a provision to allow the national debt to increase by $2.4 trillion. That amount is estimated to keep the U.S. solvent until some time in 2013—after the next presidential election—at which time Congress would need to vote on this issue once again.

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