United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, voted today for a bipartisan compromise to raise the debt ceiling through 2012 and implement measures that she believes could reduce the national debt by more than $2 trillion over the next 10 years.  The measure, which passed the House with bipartisan support yesterday evening, was overwhelmingly approved in the Senate by a vote of 74-26.  It was signed today by President Barack Obama in advance of tonight’s deadline for the United States government risking default on its debt for the first time in the nation’s history.

Sen. Landrieu said:

“Today’s vote in the Senate brings to an end this unnecessary and destructive hostage standoff that has caused even more uncertainty for an already fragile economy.  There are plenty of appropriate ways for Republicans and Democrats to debate our different visions of America’s future.  Holding our nation’s economy- and every family and small business- hostage is not one of them.

“This compromise is far from perfect.  It does not take the balanced approach to solving our long-term debt crisis that I have been urging for some time, and there are many ways in which it could have been improved.  But that is what makes it a compromise.  Everyone who voted for this bill did so because we put our country’s future ahead of our own policy and political preferences.

“Even though the bill has some flaws, we have taken several positive steps forward.  Most importantly, this compromise ensures that we will not have to relive this hostage situation in six months or a year, which will give our financial markets some much-needed certainty.  It also sets us on a path toward reducing our national debt by more than $2 trillion over the next 10 years.  And it accomplishes this without cutting benefits to Social Security and Medicare and without tying the hands of the federal government when a terrible disaster strikes.

“Now that we have gotten past this crisis that was inflicted upon us by a group of extremists in the House willing to risk our economic future in order to avoid compromise, it is time for Congress to put a real focus on creating jobs and getting the economy moving again.”