Senate leaders strike deal to end impasse: Senator

2013-10-16 17:59
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. (J Scott Applewhite, AP)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. (J Scott Applewhite, AP)

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Washington - Republican and Democratic leaders in the US Senate struck an agreement on Wednesday to end a fiscal impasse, hours before Washington hits its debt limit, a senator said.

"I understand that they've come to an agreement," said Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican from New Hampshire.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the senate, led the negotiations to avert a potentially devastating debt default after an earlier bid collapsed in a bitterly divided House of Representatives.

"I hope that we're nearing the end of this ordeal, this impasse which never should have happened in the first place," said Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican who has led efforts to broker a compromise.

Details of the latest agreement were not known, as lawmakers went in to conference to learn what the leaders had agreed to.

Senate approval of the deal still would have to be ratified by the Republican-controlled House, where a core Tea Party faction has until now vehemently resisted compromise.

The move comes with a midnight deadline. On Thursday the United States is expected to hit the limit of its $16.7 trillion borrowing authority, raising the threat of a default with potentially catastrophic effects on the world economy.

Read more on:    us  |  us budget

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