WASHINGTON, July 29-Members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted 218-210 in favor of House Speaker John A. Boehner’s (R-Ohio) “Budget Control Act of 2011” Friday night. After reworking his two-stage plan Friday morning to add a balanced budget amendment, the Speaker gained the votes of a majority of House Republicans. 

Speaker Boehner’s bill calls for the $14.3 trillion federal debt limit to rise immediately by about $900 billion in exchange for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. It also mandates that a second increase in the debt ceiling next year can only occur after the balanced-budget amendment passes both chambers of Congress and is sent to the states for ratification.
Senate leaders say the bill is unlikely to pass in their chamber, where the Democratic majority remains opposed. If Boehner’s bill fails there, voting will move on to Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) debt limit bill, which mandates a $2.7 trillion in cuts, without a balanced budget amendment.
“The bill before us isn’t perfect,” Boehner said before voting commenced. “It’s imperfect because it reflects an honest and sincere effort to end this crisis by sending the bill over to the Senate that at one point was agreed to by the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate.”
However, Democratic leaders of the Senate remain vehemently opposed to Boehner’s plan, including Senate Committee on Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, who during the week’s debate called the bill, “an irresponsible option,” that was at one point, “devastating for agriculture.”

The Boehner bill does not currently outline any specific cuts related to agriculture. 
Voting will proceed to the Senate, where debates will continue throughout the weekend in an attempt to reach a decision before the August 2 deadline. 
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