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US Senate votes to block Democrats' debt proposal

Senate Republicans on Sunday blocked a Democratic proposal on raising the debt ceiling put forward by majority leader Harry Reid (pictured) even as lawmakers were reportedly close to a bipartisan deal ahead of a looming August 2 deadline.

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REUTERS - The U.S. Senate defeated a Democratic proposal to raise the debt ceiling on Sunday as lawmakers closed in on a deal that would be acceptable to both parties.

By a vote of 50 to 49, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance in the 100-member body.

Elements of Reid's plan are likely to surface in the bipartisan deal which could be completed this afternoon. The Senate is poised to move quickly once that deal is reached.

"The arrangement that is being worked on with the Republican leader and the administration and others, is not there yet," Reid said on the Senate floor after the vote. "We're hopeful and confident it can be done."

Reid told lawmakers not to wander too far from the Capitol in case he calls another vote.

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"I would not suggest a ballgame," he said.

Under normal Senate rules, a final vote on any deal could be delayed until Wednesday, one day past the deadline set by the Treasury Department to ensure the United States does not default on its obligations.

But any deal could include provisions to ensure that Congress acts before then, a Democratic aide said.
 

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