Debt dealine looms
Posted at: 10/16/2013 10:37 AM
By: Danielle Leigh, NBC News
Source: NBC News
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC News) -- Lawmakers now have less than 24 hours to raise the country's borrowing limit or risk defaulting on its debts.
The two top men in the Senate, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are back at negotiations.
Meantime, a bipartisan group of more than a dozen senators is offering a compromise.
"We've essentially reached an agreement on a plan that would reopen gov't avert the default," said republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine.
Aides say the agreement re-opens the government through mid-January, and extends the debt limit through Feb. 7.
It's also expected to include a mid-December deadline for lawmakers to address longer term spending concerns.
Senators had to step up after republican House leader John Boehner caved to conservative pressure yesterday ending hope for a deal out of the House.
"This should not be about someone's speakership. This should not be about the next election, said republican senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
"There's a time to move forward, that's what leadership is all about. You've got to move for the good of the country, said senate democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
U.S. stocks were rising Wednesday with the renewed promise lawmakers would avoid a potential default.
But business leader Warren Buffet had this warning.
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 20 minutes to ruin it. To do damage to 237 years of good behavior is idiocy," Buffet said.
Anxious for a deal, lawmakers say they're looking for procedural ways to speed up the process and get something done, possibly by this evening.