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Missouri's senators back controversial debt measure

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(St. Louis Public Radio/UPI)
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Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO)

 Both of Missouri’s U.S. senators today supported the emergency bill that averts a first-ever government default. The measure, which was the source of months of contentious and partisan debate, raises the nation’s debt ceiling. Republican Senator Roy Blunt says he voted for the bill because it’s a good first step to rein in federal spending.

"This did change behavior in a significant way. It changes the way Washington does business and I hope for the foreseeable future it becomes the pattern that we look at," Blunt told reporters. "Every time we have to deal with the issue of debt, we need to ask ourselves the question, 'why do we have this problem and what are we going to do to solve it?'"

Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, also helped the bill pass the Senate. She says that while it wasn’t perfect, not finding a compromise on the debt ceiling would have caused irreparable damage to the economy.

 "We were able to protect, I think, the safety net and the essence of the Social Security and Medicare programs which I think is very important to my side of the aisle. At the same time, I think we’re going to be able to make some real progress on our debt structure, which should be important to everyone," McCaskill told St. Louis Public Radio.

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