Top aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are working to finalize plans to raise the debt limit through Feb. 7 and end the 16-day-old government shutdown, after a House Republican effort to forge a solution collapsed Tuesday in humiliating failure.
The inability of House lawmakers to agree on details of a bill left Washington lurching toward a critical borrowing deadline with no clear plan for avoiding a government default.
Senate leaders quickly moved to pick up the pieces, saying they were “optimistic” that they could advance an alternative proposal. But it was unclear whether the bipartisan deal being struck could pass the Senate before the Treasury Department exhausts its borrowing power Thursday.
Meeting that deadline would be impossible if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) or other conservative hard-liners chose to throw up roadblocks, Democrats said. Republican leaders were leaning on Cruz and his allies to avoid unnecessary delays.
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