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Senate leaders approve short-term debt ceiling


WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans in the top senate said on Thursday they had struck a deal to raise the debt ceiling through early December, temporarily avoiding the threat of a first-ever debt default after the GOP agreed to temporarily lower its blockade of an increase.

Majority leader New York Senator Chuck Schumer announced Thursday morning that he had reached an agreement with Minority Leader Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell to clear the way for a vote on a near-term extension. , with 11 days to go before a possible default.

The move came the day after Mr. McConnell partially backed down from his refusal to allow such a hike to go through, offering a temporary reprieve as political pressure mounted to avoid being blamed for a fiscal disaster.

“Our hope is that we can do this as soon as possible today,” said Mr. Schumer on the Senate floor. He did not provide details about the agreement.

But the deal, which could be voted on as early as Thursday, does nothing to address the core of the partisan debt stalemate. Republicans have not dropped their demand that Democrats ultimately use a secretive and time-consuming budget process known as reconciliation to raise the debt ceiling into next year.

“The path our Democratic colleagues have chosen will spare the American people any short-term crisis,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. The extension, he added, also means that “there is no doubt they will have plenty of time” to use the reconciliation process to approve a long-term increase.

Democrats have so far declined, saying the cumbersome process would take too much time and Republicans should help pay off the debts stemming from policies approved by both parties.

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