Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama asked Congress Thursday for another $1.2 trillion increase in the nation’s debt limit, a request that is largely a formality but which carries election-year implications.
It was the third and final such request the president was allowed under a deal the White House reached with lawmakers in August to prevent a government default.
Congress has 15 days to reject the president’s request. Majority House Republicans, eager to criticize the president’s spending policies, immediately announced they would hold a vote next week on a resolution of disapproval.
But such a resolution would not clear the Democratic-led Senate, and the White House says Obama would veto an objection, anyway, in order to avoid default.
Obama originally planned to make this request in December, but with Congress on vacation until mid-January, lawmakers asked the president to delay his request so they could vote on the matter when they returned.
“Washington’s mounting debt is a drag on our economic recovery, and this request is another reminder that the president has consistently punted on the tough choices needed to rein in the deficit and protect important programs for American seniors from going bankrupt,” said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
The increase would boost the debt limit to $16.4 trillion, which should be enough to allow the government to keep borrowing until the end of 2012, or just after the presidential election.
The debt limit is the amount the government can borrow to finance its operations. It has soared because the government has run record deficits over the past decade. In August, Congress and the administration agreed to raise the borrowing limit by $2.1 trillion in three steps. The deal was reached hours before a potential default on the nation’s debt.
Congress agreed to raise the debt limit by $400 billion in August and by another $500 billion in September.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.