WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed into law a new bill which would raise the nation's debt ceiling and avoid a default by the world's top economy, the White House said. Obama signed the bill shortly after it passed the Senate by 74-26 votes, a day after it cleared the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 269-161 margin. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters "the president has signed the bill and turned it into law." Earlier, The US Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to avert a disastrous debt default and cut trillions in government spending, sending the contentious bill to President Barack Obama to sign into law. Lawmakers voted 74-26 to pass the measure -- which cleared the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 269-161 margin a day earlier -- with just hours to spare before a midnight (0400 Wednesday) deadline. Twenty-eight of Obama's Republican foes joined forty-five Democrats and one independent who usually sides with them in favor of the legislation, while 19 Republicans, six Democrats, and the chamber's other independent voted no. Obama was expected turn his focus after signing the bill to tackling historically high US unemployment of 9.2 per cent and boosting the sagging US economy, likely the dominant factor in his November 2012 re-election bid. "We have to get this out of the way to get to the issue of growing the economy," Vice President Joe Biden declared Monday, vowing that once the bill is law "we will be talking about nothing come then but about jobs." The legislation lifts cash-strapped Washington's $14.3 trillion debt limit by up to $2.4 trillion while cutting at least $2.1 trillion in government spending over 10 years. Republicans have promised the spending cuts will create jobs, but top Wall Street economists have warned the austerity measures will actually be a drag on already sluggish US growth even as government stimulus measures run out. The overall shift from priming the US economy to government belt-tightening is expected to reduce US growth next year by about 1.5 percentage points, according to JPMorgan Chase economists. Democrats, especially on the party's left flank, have expressed outrage that the bargain Obama struck with his Republican foes omitted any increase in tax revenues from the richest Americans or wealthy corporations. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to turn its attention next to boosting the US economy through measures to aid job creation and increase consumer confidence. "We can't balance the budget on the backs of the very people who have borne the biggest brunt of this recession," Obama told journalists just after Senate passed a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling. "Everyone has to chip in. It's only fair. That's the principle I'll be fighting for during the next phase of this process," Obama said in a statement in the White House's Rose Garden.