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Reid Approves U.S. Debt Agreement Pending Approval From Democrats’ Caucus

July 31, 2011

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has approved a tentative agreement with House leaders and the Obama administration to raise the U.S. debt ceiling pending approval by fellow Senate Democrats, according to a spokesman.

“Senator Reid has signed off on the debt-ceiling agreement pending caucus approval,” Reid communications director Adam Jentleson said in an issued statement.

Congressional leaders and the Obama administration negotiated to finish the details of the agreement to raise the debt ceiling, paving the way for possible votes in the Senate tonight and the House tomorrow on a plan to avert a U.S. default and calm market concerns.

“We’re really, really close to an agreement, and we’ll let you know when we get it,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told reporters as he left the Senate chamber today. Earlier, he said Republicans and President Barack Obama had made “dramatic progress” on a compromise yesterday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters he hoped his chamber could vote on the measure tonight.

After a weekend of discussions between Republicans and Obama’s team, House leaders were aiming to schedule action on the emerging compromise to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, cut spending by about $1 trillion, and call on Congress to shave another $1.8 trillion from long-term debt by year’s end — or face punishing reductions across all areas of the government, including Medicare and defense programs.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio was to brief rank-and- file Republicans later today, as negotiators worked to complete it and draft legislative language, a Republican aide said.

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