Congress Inching Toward Votes on Debt Deal

Updated from 3:09 p.m. EDT with latest developments.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Congress continued Monday to move toward votes on legislation hammered out over the weekend to raise the debt ceiling and cut the deficit.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote this afternoon, while it's unclear if the Senate will hold its vote later this evening or on Tuesday.

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and his fellow Republican leaders spoke to the media on Monday to express conviction that Congress would pass the new budget proposal.

"I've got a big job to do here," Boehner said. "My goal is to get the bill passed, signed into law, solve this debt crisis and help get the America people back to work."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) said that getting the latest bill to its current state was a monumental task. He criticized Senate Democrats for a last minute attempt to debate the possibility of a revenue measure in the budget.

"Now is not the time for us to be considering tax hikes when there is over 9% unemployment and too many people are out of work," Cantor said.

"This bill doesn't give all the answers; this bill does give accountability," said House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.).

Vice President Joe Biden briefly addressed reporters earlier Monday, saying the new proposal will fund initiatives of people and companies who are job creators. He also addressed criticism of political posturing on both sides of the aisle.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

"This debt issue cannot come up again until 2013... This has nothing to do with elections... if it passes we will be talking about nothing from then but jobs, "Biden said.

Obama and other elected leaders of Congress told the nation late Sunday that both major parties had struck a deal that would cut roughly $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years.

"What we've just gone through was extremely difficult, but there was never any consideration that the republic would fall," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Monday. "The Constitution has been so successful because of the great compromise of legislative government."

Compromise is what it took for politicians to hash out a deal that would help the United States avert a possible default before the end of the U.S. Treasury's Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

"The result would be the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was president -- but at a level that still allows us to make job-creating investments in things like education and research," Obama said on Sunday .

Should Democrats and Republicans approve the law, they would cast aside hyperpartisan sentiments for a few months before they return to the floors of Congress to propose further reduction in the deficit.

Though the new budget has been touted by all sides, there remained dissenters to the deal.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said on Monday that she was undecided on the debt ceiling because of a lack of revenue, Reuters reported.

Even White House Press Secretary Jay Carney admitted in a press conference that the bill wasn't perfect: "We did not get the grand bargain."

Republican presidential hopefuls Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) voiced consternation late Sunday as the president announced the plan.

"No plan under serious consideration cuts spending in the way you and I think about it," Paul said. "Instead, the cuts being discussed are illusory and are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in prospective spending increases."

Paul likened the cuts to a family saving $100,000 in expenses by buying a Lamborghini automobile instead of a Mercedes-Benz, when they should really only have the cash for a mid-priced car.

"The president continues to press for a 'balanced approach,' which everyone knows is code for increased spending and taxes," Bachmann said in a statement. "The 'deal' he announced spends too much and doesn't cut enough."

Paul and Bachmann are expected to be present at the House for the impending budget vote.

When asked about defense cuts, Speaker Boehner said that the new bill would be the best Republicans could get and that the Armed Services Committee had already voiced its support for the budget proposal.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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