Leaders in the U.S. Senate have crafted a last-minute deal to reopen the federal government and avoid a U.S. default likely to have harmful effects on the global economy.
Sources say the deal would keep the government running through January 15 and raise the nation's borrowing limit enough to put off the risk of default until February 7.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had been working on a bipartisan proposal that could pass both houses of Congress Wednesday and be signed by President Barack Obama by Thursday.
But it is unclear if the Republican-led House will have the votes to give final approval to the proposal.
Thursday is the deadline when the U.S. Treasury Department has said it will reach its borrowing limit and risk default. Financial markets could plunge without a deal.
On Wednesday, billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Wednesday it would be idiocy for the nation's leaders to allow the United States to default on its bills.
In an interview with CNBC television, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman said he does not expect the U.S. will do anything to damage its 237-year reputation of paying its bills on time, but if that does happen, it would be "asinine."
The Fitch credit rating agency placed the U.S. on its "rating watch negative" list Tuesday, a signal that the government's top "AAA" credit rating could be lowered.