8/2/11: Today, in a vote of 74-26, the Senate passed the debt ceiling package that allows the President to raise the debt ceiling through 2012 in increments and requires about $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years. The House passed the bill last night, and the President has announced he will sign it. Fortunately, an historic default has been avoided. However, as the Union reported earlier, while there are no immediate changes to federal pensions in the first round of deficit cuts, there will likely be serious cuts to agencies’ budgets. NTEU is concerned with this and with future actions of the congressionally mandated “super committee” who will need to find about $1.5 trillion in deficit savings, or face automatic cuts. We will continue our fight on behalf of federal employees and retirees to urge the necessary agency resources they need to serve the public, as well as the secure health and retirement benefits, as they deserve.