PELHAM, N.Y. – President Barack Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 Wednesday to end the debt ceiling crisis that had plagued the nation. The resolution brought a measure of relief to local governments and residents in the Pelham area.
Eastchester resident Janice Mosca, insurance manager at Rao Insurance Agency on Wolfs Lane in Pelham, said she was relieved when Obama signed the bill into law but said she always expected a resolution.
"I think it would have affected too many people to be a grave issue," Mosca said. "I thought it was going to be resolved."
Mosca said she did not think the solution would take as long as it did, but added that a late agreement was better than none at all.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 calls for reduced spending greater than the increase in the debt limit. The government increased the debt ceiling by $900 billion in the first phase but will cut $917 billion in the next 10 years.
The act creates a joint committee of Congress made up of six Democrats and six Republicans. The committee would craft debt reduction legislation by Nov. 23 with the goal of reducing the debt by $1.5 trillion in the next ten years. The legislation would be passed by Dec. 23 and would not be affected by any amendment or filibuster.
If Congress cannot create a debt reduction bill that cuts at least $1.2 trillion, then it can raise the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. That course of action, though, would trigger cuts in spending in numerous areas of government, but those do not include Social Security, Medicaid, civil and military employee pay and veterans. Medicare, however, would be affected.
The law also increases Pell grant funding but reduces other financial aid.
Village administrator Robert Yamuder said prior to Tuesday's events that the village kept its eyes on Washington because it had some federally funded projects planned in the future.
Pelham Manor village manager John Pierpont said that the local government would not have felt any repercussions had the Tuesday deadline passed.
"Obviously it's something that was important to the entire country, but it didn't have any direct effect on the village of Pelham Manor," Pierpont said.
Mosca has an uncle who collects Social Security and she had concern for people like him that could have been hurt if the government had not acted.
"I felt bad for people that it really involved," Mosca said.