Braley also said the House bill, H.R. 2560, would significantly cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and widen the income gap between rich and poor Americans.

Braley was one of just several Democrats who spoke against the House bill, which members began debating at about 12:45 p.m. Dozens of Republicans and Democrats spoke on the floor in the morning and afternoon in anticipation of the highly controversial bill.

Under the legislation, discretionary spending would be cut in 2012, spending through 2021 would be capped at a slowly shrinking percentage of U.S. GDP, and borrowing would be prohibited until Congress approves a balanced-budget amendment.