POLITICS

Government shutdown 2013: McConnell briefly steps away from budget talks

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has temporarily stepped away from negotiations to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, according to news reports.

McConnell has stepped away to allow the House to come up with a deal, POLITICO reports. If the House can’t come up with a deal, then McConnell is set to resume talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

House GOP leaders Tuesday floated a plan to fellow Republicans to counter an emerging Senate deal to reopen the government and forestall an economy-rattling default on U.S. obligations. But the plan got mixed reviews from the rank and file and it was not clear whether it could pass the chamber.

The measure would suspend a new tax on medical devices for two years and take away the federal government's contributions to lawmakers' health care and top administration officials.

It would also fund the government through Jan. 15 and give Treasury the ability to borrow normally through Feb. 7.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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