US political logjam ends, Senate leaders reach consensus to end shutdown

Washington, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 16 October 2013, 10:51 PM

US polotical logjam ended with Senate leaders announcing consensus on a deal to end government shutdown by raising the country's debt limit and reopening government agencies, a senior Senate Democratic aide said on Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced the agreement on the Senate floor, where it was expected to win swift approval after a main Republican critic of the deal, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, said he would not use procedural moves to delay a vote.

Reid, speaking from the Senate floor, said the agreement called for reopening the federal government with a temporary budget until January 15 and to extend US borrowing authority until February 7.

"The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs," Reid said.

Senator Mitch McConnel, the top Republican, followed, confirming the agreement, which has to be approved by both the Senate and the Republican-controlled House.

US borrowing authority is on track to expire at midnight, and without an agreement the United States runs the risk of a default with potentially devastating consequences.

Both Democrats and Republicans are confident that the US House of Representatives will have enough votes on Wednesday to pass the bipartisan Senate plan, a top Democratic aide said.

Lawmakers are racing against time. While analysts and US officials say the government will still have roughly USD 30 billion in cash to pay many obligations for at least a few days after October 17, the financial sector may begin to seize up if the deal is not finalized in both chambers.

Major US stock indexes rose more than 1 percent on optimism that lawmakers were finally reaching a deal to end the weeks-long fiscal impasse.

First Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 10:10 PM
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