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Reid says he's waiting on Boehner, Republicans, for word on debt plans

July 20, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday morning that the fallback Senate plan to raise the federal debt ceiling is ready to go, but that averting default depends on House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and his Republican caucus signaling what plan they can pass. "Right now I am at...

Majority leader: Senate will stay in session until debt-ceiling bill is passed

July 18, 2011 The Senate will remain in session every day, including weekends, until passage of a bill that resolves a dispute on raising the federal debt ceiling, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced on Monday. "The Senate has no more important task than making sure the United States does not fail...

Debt talks splinter into dueling plans

July 13, 2011 Even as negotiators trooped back to the White House on Wednesday for more talks, efforts to raise the federal debt limit have splintered into competing plans from different chambers as congressional leaders moved to avoid blame for a potential default without making clear progress on a passable compromise. House Republican...

Senate minority leader fashions escape for GOP on debt ceiling

July 12, 2011 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., may have come up with a plan to relieve pressure on congressional Republicans as the debt ceiling negotiations intensify with the Obama White House. McConnell announced a plan that would essentially give President Obama the power to raise the debt ceiling through the end...

Senate cancels recess, but what will it do?

June 30, 2011 Sensitive to the perception that they would be vacationing without reaching a deficit deal, Senate Democrats on Thursday canceled the chamber's weeklong July Fourth recess in a largely symbolic gesture to show that they are on the job. The chamber, however, has nothing to do on the issue, no real...

Biden talks intensify; Gang of Six considers options

June 21, 2011 As the budget talks led by Vice President Joe Biden continue this week, the seemingly defunct Gang of Six is exploring whether to continue its work, disband or seek a lifeline from other senators. The Gang of Six, which is working on a comprehensive deficit reduction plan based on recommendations...

Biden deficit group gives itself July 1 deadline

June 17, 2011 Six lawmakers led by Vice President Joe Biden and charged with developing a deficit-reduction plan met for the third time this week and agreed on Thursday to give themselves until July 1 to come up with an agreement or decide not to continue. Whether or not to raise taxes remained...

Senate will hold a pro-forma session next week, preventing recess appointments

May 27, 2011 The Senate will remain in pro-forma session next week, a step that will prevent President Obama from making any recess appointments during the Memorial Day break, including a much-anticipated potential appointment of Elizabeth Warren as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., spokesman Jon...

'Gang of Six' budget deal appears doomed, senator says

May 18, 2011 Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a member of the "Gang of Six" senators trying to cut a deal on a deficit-reduction plan, suggested on Tuesday that the group was on the verge of failure. "We can't bridge the gap between what actually needs to happen and what people will allow to...

Congress looking at forced reductions to address budget and debt ceiling issues

April 26, 2011 It's the budgeting equivalent of the old adage about killing two birds with one stone. Congress returns from Easter recess next week facing two urgent fiscal questions: what to do about raising the federal government's borrowing threshold and how to pass a budget for the next fiscal year that honors...

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