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Senate Leaders Reach Deal on Shutdown, Debt

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U.S. Senate leaders have crafted a last-minute deal to reopen the federal government and avoid a potential U.S. default on its debts.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, and his Republican colleague, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, announced the deal Wednesday. Reid said both sides set aside their differences so the country could avoid financial "disaster."

The proposal would keep the government running until January 15 and raise the borrowing limit enough to put off the risk of default until at least February 7.

The Senate could vote on the deal later Wednesday. House Republican leaders are meeting to decide whether the Senate plan is acceptable and if they will bring it up for a vote.

White House spokesman Jay Carney praised Senate leaders for reaching a bipartisan proposal. He said President Barack Obama hopes both houses of Congress work swiftly to pass the legislation.



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.

The U.S. government shutdown began its third week Tuesday, with all but essential services closed, along with many national parks, museums, and monuments.

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