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 June 5, 2003
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Senate approves huge increase in debt limit
Friday,May23,2003,11:34 PM
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Capitol Hill-AP -- The Senate has given final congressional approval to an almost one (t) trillion-dollar increase in the government's borrowing authority.

The 53-to-44 vote came just a few hours after congress had approved a 330 (b) billion-dollar tax cut package. President Bush will sign the measure. It will allow the government's debt to grow by a record 984 (b) billion dollars, to almost seven-point-four (t) trillion dollars. That's expected to be high enough to let the government borrow money until sometime next year.

Democrats sought to link the tax cuts with the mounting debt incurred by the Bush administration. They charge federal interest payments on the mounting debt are draining the budget of money needed for basic federal programs.

The Bush administration says there's no link between raising the debt ceiling and the tax-cut plan. Spokesman Ari Fleischer says Congress would have increased the ceiling whether or not it also considered the tax cut package.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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