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House passes debt ceiling increase

WASHINGTON – The GOP-controlled House has backed away from a battle over the government’s debt cap and passed a measure extending Treasury’s borrowing authority with overwhelming support from President Barack Obama’s Democratic allies.

The 221-201 vote came hours after Speaker John Boehner announced that his fractured party would relent and not seek to add other items to the must-pass legislation.

Twenty-eight Republicans voted yes. The bill would permit Treasury to borrow normally for another 13 months and would diffuse the chance of a debt crisis well past the November elections.

Just Monday, Republicans suggested pairing the debt measure with legislation to roll back a recent cut in the inflation adjustment of pension benefits for working age military retirees.

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