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Obama Raises Debt Ceiling

U.S. President Barack Obama has signed a law that will allow the U.S. to borrow nearly $2 trillion more than before.

The president signed the bill Friday night at the White House with little public fanfare.

The maximum debt the U.S. can carry is now $14.3 trillion. The U.S. was already poised to exceed the previous maximum.

The change comes at a time when the American public is increasingly concerned about the government deficits.

In an attempt calm those fears, the bill also included a "pay-as-you-go" provision. Originally enacted in the 1990s under then President Bill Clinton, the law requires any new spending or tax cut to be offset by tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere.

In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, Mr. Obama praised the "pay-as-you-go" law, saying it was how a "responsible family or business" manages money.

Mr. Obama used his address to blame the current debt and deficits on the previous administration of U.S. president George W. Bush and the U.S. congress during his tenure. He said they ignored the "common sense rule" of pay-as-you-go and passed tax cuts and created a drug program without paying for it.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.