Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Senate leaders have come up with a potential deal to end the two-week-old government shutdown and avoid the country’s first default on its debt.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who are leading the negotiations for the two parties, are now considering raising the debt limit until Feb. 15, funding federal agencies until Jan. 15 and establishing a House-Senate budget committee to come up with a replacement for automatic sequestration cuts.
The deal still has to go through the Senate Democratic and Republican conferences before being finalized.
Reid and McConnell are optimistic of a deal to end the crisis, which has paralyzed the federal government and is worrying investors who fear an economic backlash if the U.S. government will default on its debts. Both described their negotiations Monday as constructive and in good faith.
House Republicans are waiting to see the Senate agreement. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the House Rules Committee, told reporters on Monday they could not yet comment on the emerging deal.
White House is pushing Congress to raise the U.S. Treasury’s borrowing authority set at $16.7 trillion by Thursday, when the government’s funds run out. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had warned that without a higher debt limit, the government will be forced to pay its bills using cash on hand and incoming revenues.