Top Democratic Senator backs last-minute compromise plan

09:17, August 01, 2011      

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U.S. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Sunday backed a last-minute compromise plan to stave off a looming debt default crisis.

A spokesman for the Nevada Senator said on Sunday afternoon that Reid has voiced his support to the debt-ceiling agreement pending approval by his fellow Democratic Senators.

The tentative agreement would secure enough borrowing capacity to keep the U.S. federal government afloat into 2013.

Several top U.S. lawmakers including Reid exuded cautious optimism Sunday that a bipartisan deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling was within reach.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Sunday morning that both parties were working on a 3 trillion U.S. dollars package, adding that "we're very close to a deal."

Any compromise plan still needed to clear a Democratic- controlled Senate and a Republican-held House to break the stalemate.

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.

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