Senator says US budget & debt deal forthcoming
By Steven R. Hurst ,APWASHINGTON -- Senate leaders agreed to a bipartisan plan Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the federal government after a 16-day closure, according to a Republican senator.
October 17, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Sen. Kelly Ayotte also said the House of Representatives might vote first on the plan to speed its way through Congress.
“I understand they've come to an agreement but I'm going to let the leader announce that,” Ayotte said as she walked into a meeting of Senate Republicans called to review details of the emerging deal struck with Democrats who control the Senate.
The deal could reach President Barack Obama's desk before Thursday, when the U.S. Treasury says it will begin running out of cash unless Congress increases the government's debt limit.
The new Senate plan's passage in the Republican-controlled House could require House Speaker John Boehner put the measure to a vote as is and depend heavily on minority Democrats to support it. The move is risky and seen as imperiling the House leadership, but Boehner was apparently ready to do it and end the crisis that has badly damaged Republican approval among voters.
In the Senate, Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had resumed talks Tuesday night and were expected to soon announce details of the plan that was seen as acceptable to both houses of Congress.