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U.S. debt negotiators hammer out tentative agreement

08-01-2011 08:30 BJT

WASHINGTON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. debt ceiling negotiators are working on a tentative agreement on raising the federal government's debt limit to avert a looming debt default crisis.

The United States is not going to default, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday morning in an interview with CNN.

"We're very close to a deal," McConnell added.

He said that both parties were working on a 3 trillion U.S. dollars package, and some conservative GOP members wanted a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to be included in the deal.

Leaders from both parties are discussing the compromise plan "in a constructive way," Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said on Sunday.

However, Schumer held that it was "premature" to say now that a deal has been reached, as there are many details to talk about before sealing the deal, Schumer noted.

There has to be compromise on each side to push forward a solution in a divided government and Congress, noted Schumer, adding that the negotiators were discussing defense cuts of equal magnitude to domestic spending cuts.

Sunday was a "critical day" to cut a deal to raise the nation's debt limit, White House senior advisor David Plouffe said on Sunday, adding that "we have to get this solved."

Plouffe said there was not a deal yet, as both sides were working out on details of a plan.

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.

Obama's top economic adviser Gene Sperling Sunday also urged Congress to raise the debt limit to lift the uncertainty cloud over the economy and financial markets.

A procedural Senate vote on a debt ceiling proposal put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was postponed until Sunday afternoon to give negotiators more time to hammer out an agreement.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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