U.S. House rejects Reid debt ceiling plan

13:20, July 31, 2011      

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Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid addresses a news conference about the U.S. debt ceiling crisis, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 30, 2011. The House rejected U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid's proposed debt ceiling bill one day after the Senate rejected Boehner's plan. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)

The U.S. House of Representatives Saturday voted to reject the debt ceiling plan put forward by Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid, adding fresh uncertainty to the debt talk gridlock.

The vote was 173 to 246 on the measure that aimed at lifting the debt limit by 2.4 trillion dollars and cutting spending by 2.2 trillion dollars over a decade.

The bill fell short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to pass under rules designed to limit debate and pass measures quickly.

In a similar move, 43 Republican Senators of the United States said Saturday that they opposed the Reid debt ceiling plan, saying that it failed to alter the spending trajectory that is putting the U.S. economy and national security at risk.

The federal government's borrowing limit, currently at 14.29 trillion dollars, was reached on May 16. The Treasury Department said the nation would begin to default on its debts unless the Congress agreed to lift the limit by Aug. 2.

The nation is at "a crucial time" in history, and the stakes of failing to find a compromise are quite high, Reid told reporters Saturday.

The United States has no more time for delaying tactics, Reid said before heading for the White House to update the President on the status quo of the debt talks.

"We know that the Reid bill will not pass the Senate," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell Saturday told reporters at a press conference shortly after the House vote, adding that it was the time to end the "charade" and get serious on finding a compromise plan.

It is the time for the President to tell Americans what plan he is for, House Speaker John Boehner challenged Saturday at the press conference.

With time running short, Beltway policymakers were endeavoring to find a way to lift the nation out of the current mess during this weekend's frantic beat-the-clock effort to cut a deal.

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