After weeks of bipartisan negotiations and bickering in Congress, the bill that allows the federal government to raise its $14.3 trillion debt ceiling finally reached President Barack Obama’s desk Tuesday where he quickly signed it into law.

The 11th hour compromise deal narrowly averted the U.S. from going into default, which is unprecedented in the nation’s history and is potentially catastrophic not only to the domestic economy but to the global economy as well.

The bill, which the House of Representatives passed through a 269-161 vote, was overwhelmingly approved in the Senate, 74-26, before Mr. Obama put his signature on it and praising it as the initial step toward fiscal discipline.

What happens thereafter is what makes people wonder. Analysts believe that the debt deal set a potential battle over tax reform that will once again place Washington in a damaging gridlock. The deal will create a special congressional committee that will find at least $1.6 trillion of additional savings by late November. It is expected that the panel will propose a major overhaul of the tax code.

Several Tea Party-backed legislators say that the possibility of future tax increases is the reason why many of the freshmen group of conservatives in Congress never supported the deal in the first place. However, such fears were dispelled by House Speaker John Boehner who claimed that there are no increases possible inside the deal. That is under the assumption that the Bush tax cuts, if left to expire in 2013, will not be considered as tax increase.

This means that a number of tax breaks for wealthy and middle-income Americans along with tax deferrals for mortgage interest deduction, offshore corporate profits, and accelerated depreciation will face an uncertain future.

Had the debt ceiling not been raised before the August 2 deadline, Americans could have woke up the next day with rising interest rates, more volatile markets, and a falling dollar, to name a few because the federal government would not have been allowed to borrow more money to pay its bills.

Nevertheless, the country’s AAA credit rating would still face a possible future downgrade despite the passing of the bill. Credit agency Moody’s announced on Tuesday that the U.S. could retain its credit rating for now but gave a “negative” outlook on American debt instruments, an indication that the country’s sovereign credit rating could be eventually downgraded before the year ends or perhaps next year.

Many Americans are already getting impatient with the Obama administration particularly with its handling of the economy. Analysts are now expecting a disappointing July jobs report due to be released on Friday. Initial estimates point to a 9.2 percent unemployment rate although some suggest that the figure could stay flat.

A Fox News poll released last month show that 46 percent of Americans are not happy with Mr. Obama’s performance, the lowest approval rating so far for the year. The survey also concluded that 58 percent of voters believe that the economy is going downhill.

The president’s approval rating among Democrats also suffered a blow and is now at 76 percent, just a notch higher from its record low on December last year of 75 percent. Among independents, only 44 percent approve of the president’s job performance while 46 percent are not convinced.