U.S. lawmakers have finally reached an emergency deal to avoid a debt default, after weeks of political bickering and stalemate. If passed by congress, the two-step compromise will permit American borrowing to continue after Tuesday’s deadline, in exchange for more than $2 trillion in federal cuts over the next decade. The deal was struck after Barack Obama held last-ditch intensive talks with Democrat and Republican leaders, on increasing America’s debt limit. However, the political struggle is far from over, with the key issue of how to balance the budget being put off for a later date. But as Marina Portnaya reports, the tortuous and lengthy road to reaching the agreement has damaged America’s reputation.