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President Obama signs debt ceiling measure into law

Published: Friday, July 31 2015 7:55 a.m. MDT

President Barack Obama waves from the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. President Barack Obama has signed separate measures lifting the federal debt limit and restoring full cost of living benefits for military retirees. (Susan Walsh, ASSOCIATED PRESS) President Barack Obama waves from the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Friday, Feb. 14, 2014. President Barack Obama has signed separate measures lifting the federal debt limit and restoring full cost of living benefits for military retirees. (Susan Walsh, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — President Barack Obama has signed separate measures lifting the federal debt limit and restoring full cost of living benefits for military retirees.

Obama signed the bills into law Saturday during a weekend golf vacation in Southern California.

The debt limit measure frees the government to borrow the money it needs to pay bills, such as Social Security benefits.

Failure to pass it most likely would have sent the stock market into a dive.

Separate legislation passed in December would have held annual cost of living increases for certain veterans to 1 percentage point below the rate of inflation. The measure was an attempt to hold the line on the soaring costs of government benefit programs. Veterans groups and some lawmakers said cutting the benefits was a mistake.

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