WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) — The stalemate over raising the debt ceiling continued Saturday in Washington as the U.S. Senate prepared to vote on a Democratic plan for deficit reduction.
The vote on Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bill was scheduled for early Sunday because Reid, D-Nev., only introduced it Friday night, The New York Times reported. New Senate rules require a 24-hour waiting period.
The Republican leaders in the House planned to vote on the Reid bill Saturday afternoon, rejecting it before it passes the Senate, the Times said. The Senate voted down a bill introduced by Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, late Friday.
Reid’s bill would raise the federal debt ceiling until after the next election.
President Barack Obama is open to extending the country’s Tuesday debt default date if Republicans show willingness to compromise, The Hill reported Saturday.
Unidentified Democratic sources told the Washington newspaper there had been little communication between the Republican-majority House of Representatives and the White House Friday night as the clock wound down to a financial default on Tuesday.
Obama reportedly was willing to use executive authority to briefly extend the debt-ceiling deadline if he saw progress in the partisan stalemate, the newspaper said.
Boehner has taken a hardline approach at capping the U.S. debt, cutting government spending and enacting legislation forcing a balanced budget.
In the Democratic-led Senate, Reid was reportedly working on legislation Saturday that could pass in the House.
Since winning the House majority last year, Republicans have focused on the country’s $14 trillion debt and unemployment that’s risen to 9.2 percent.