Report: Senate Leaders Agree to Bipartisan Deal
Senate leaders on Wednesday struck an 11th-hour agreement to avoid a U.S. debt crisis and fully reopen the federal government, putting lawmakers on track toward ending a stalemate that worried investors world-wide and provided striking evidence of congressional dysfunction.
The Wall Street Journal reported that House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) has said he would bring whatever deal the Senate crafts to the floor of the House, where Republicans on Tuesday had tried and failed in their own last-minute effort to unify behind a proposal to end the impasse. The Senate deal gives GOP lawmakers almost none of the policy gains they had sought, but enough House Republicans are expected to join with Democrats in order to pass the measure.
It was unclear when each chamber would vote, but some lawmakers said the Senate agreement could clear both chambers on Wednesday.
House GOP leaders were contemplating taking up the expected deal from the Senate for a vote later in the day, according to aides from both parties. That would send the bill to the Senate in a fashion enabling the Senate to skip some of its time-consuming procedures to ensure a quicker final vote.
The Senate plan, announced by leaders as the Senate opened its session, would fund federal agencies at current spending levels through Jan. 15 and extend the nation’s borrowing authority through Feb. 7. A negotiating committee would separately be charged with devising plans for longer-term fiscal solutions.
“The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said on the Senate floor. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) also spoke, saying he was confident the deal would end the budget stalemate on Wednesday.
President Barack Obama will accept the deal, White House spokesman Jay Carney said. Mr. Obama believes the agreement “will reopen the government and remove the threat of economic brinksmanship,” Mr. Carney said. “The president hopes that both houses will act swiftly on this agreement.”
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