For several GOP lawmakers, the decision on whether to vote for the debt deal hinged on how the prescribed cuts will affect defense spending. In the end, enough Republicans in the House put their concerns about cutting the deficit over their concerns about cutting defense spending.
But no one really knows how much the Pentagon will have to cut as a result of the deal or when.
"We are in uncharted territory here," said David Berteau, an expert on budgetary issues with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
With the fight over the U.S. debt ceiling finally over, investors are free again to focus on all the economic challenges that lie ahead, but they are finding little reason to celebrate. Stock markets around the world fell sharply on Tuesday, skipping the "relief rally" that customarily follows the resolution of a crisis.
In the United States, signs of a serious economic slowdown had been building up, though with attention focused on the debt-ceiling debate, the news had apparently not yet sunk in.
The rise of fracking as a method for extracting natural gas from shale rock has triggered demand for a key ingredient in the process: silica sand. In parts of the upper Midwest, there's been a rush to mine this increasingly valuable product.
Jim Dickson, the CEO of Copper Queen Community Hospital in Bisbee, Ariz.
Credit Jenny Gold for NPR
Mayor Jack Porter arrived at the only post office in Bisbee, Ariz., on a red motorcycle. Getting off, he walked with a slight limp, the only lingering effect of a frightening morning last July when he awoke with numbness in his right side and slurred speech.
The paramedics had rushed him to the only emergency room in rural Bisbee at the Copper Queen Community Hospital. There, doctors determined he was having a stroke and gave him tPA, a clot-busting drug that, when administered within a tight timeframe, can minimize a stroke's effects.
The P-3B NASA research aircraft, seen on the tarmac at Baltimore Washington International Airport on June 28, will gather data as it flies spirals over six ground stations in Maryland.
Credit Paul E. Alers / NASA
NASA, the agency best known for exploring space, is trying to answer some urgent questions about air pollution right here on Earth.
For much of July, the agency flew research planes between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore as part of a mission known as DISCOVER-AQ. The planes, along with weather balloons and ground stations, were gathering data on how pollutants such as ozone and particulates behave in the atmosphere.
More than half a century after the death of sports star Jim Thorpe, his surviving children and a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania are locked in a battle over the Native American athlete's remains.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist, member of the NFL Hall of Fame and former Major League Baseball player was buried in the town of Jim Thorpe, Pa., after he died of a heart attack in 1953.
In a photo provided to AFP by a third party, Syrians demonstrate after Friday prayers in the central city of Hama on July 22. Syrian security forces killed at least eight civilians as more than 1.2 million protesters swarmed cities to protest against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, activists said.
Credit - / AFP/Getty Images
Syria's uprising has been called the YouTube Revolution. The protest videos from cities across the country are a guide to how the movement works.
The banners and the slogans are remarkably similar, from the city of Dera'a in the south, to Hama on the central plain, to the eastern desert town of Deir Ezzor. Even in the capital of Damascus, the chants are the same: "It's time for President Bashar al-Assad to go."
Renee Montagne speaks with Kristalina Georgieva about the famine in Somalia and the difficulties of getting aid into the country. Georgieva is the European Union's humanitarian aid commissioner and is just back from Somalia.
The big three automakers continue to see growth in their recovery but last month sales hit a bit of a bump. The overall U.S. market was dragged down by sluggish sales of Hondas and Toyotas. Companies are still struggling to work out problems with their supply chains following Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.