Reid Backs Debt Deal, Lawmakers Are 'Close'

Agreement hoped for later tonight
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2011 5:08 PM CDT
Sen. Harry Reid speaks during a news conference July 30, 2011.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Hours after shelving his own debt ceiling plan, Harry Reid has given his blessing to a deal being furiously negotiated on Capitol Hill, reports Politico. “Senator Reid has signed off on the debt-ceiling agreement pending caucus approval," said a statement this afternoon from Reid's office. The legislation is cautiously expected later today so as to avoid roiling the markets tomorrow, one day before the US is expected to hit its debt limit.

Following the vote earlier today, Reid told senators to take a break. Although he didn't offer a timetable for when to expect a vote on a new deal, he cheekily said he wouldn't recommend anyone go off to a ball game. Reid's proposal to raise the debt ceiling included $2.2 trillion in spending cuts; the expected final deal will include $3 trillion in deficit cuts. By voting on Reid's proposal, his bill can be kept alive as the shell for any final deal that may be reached today; in fact, Reid himself voted against his own bill in order to keep it alive. See the Wall Street Journal's live blog for more details, including a spontaneous debate between Dick Durbin and John McCain over how to rein in US debt.

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