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Obama signs debt bill after final Senate vote

WASHINGTON — The Senate emphatically passed emergency legislation Tuesday to avoid a first-ever government default, rushing the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature just hours before the deadline. The vote was 74-26. Obama signed the bill little more than an hour later. Tuesday’s vote capped an extraordinarily difficult Washington battle pitting tea party Republican forces in the House against Obama and Democrats controlling the Senate. The resulting compromise paired an essential increase in the government’s borrowing cap with promises of more than $2 trillion of budget cuts over the next decade. “It’s an important first step to ensuring that…