President signs bill averting government default

February 4, 2013 - 11:31 PM
Obama

President Barack Obama waves as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 4, 2013. Obama will pitch his gun control proposals to the public and the law enforcement community in Minneapolis Monday, as he calls for a ban on assault weapons and seeks to install universal background checks for gun buyers. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill raising the government's borrowing limit, averting a default and delaying the next clash over the nation's debt until later this year.

The legislation temporarily suspends the $16.4 trillion limit on federal borrowing. Experts say that will allow the government to borrow about $450 billion to meet interest payments and other obligations.

The Senate gave the bill final approval last week and sent it to Obama, who signed it Monday shortly after returning from Minneapolis.

Democrats and Obama had warned that failure to pass the bill could set off financial panic and threaten the economic recovery.

The bill includes a provision attached by House Republicans that temporarily withholds lawmakers' pay in either chamber that fails to produce a budget plan.