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Larchmont Locals Let Down by Debt Ceiling Decision

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- President Barack Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 Wednesday to avert the debt ceiling crisis, but local residents and officials aren't satisfied with the legislation.

"I don't know whether it's going to resolve it, but you have to start somewhere," said Shoko Iwata, a Larchmont resident.

While Angela Nesbitt, a Larchmont resident, agrees that a deal had to be made, she doesn't see any compromise in the bill Obama signed Wednesday.

"I think it's really disappointing to see how Congress is behaving," she said. "It's not governing, it's like having children fighting to see what they can get. This deal had to be the worst possible outcome."

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 10 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.

The Village of Mamaroneck has pursued funds for flood mitigation programs for over 30 years, but have largely been ignored, said Mayor Norman Rosenblum. Had the Tuesday deadline to raise the debt ceiling passed, he saw no direct impact on the local community, other than having even less money available to fund local projects.

"Frustratingly little was accomplished," said Audrey Walker, a Larchmont resident.

What do you think about the resolution to the debt ceiling issue? Are you satisfied with the Budget Control Act of 2011? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter .

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