POLITICS

Government shutdown: Senate rejects Democratic debt limit extension

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, center, talks with, from left, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Sen.. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Collins, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R- Alaska, and Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz., on Capitol Hill on Friday. Photo: The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has rejected a Democratic effort to extend the government's ability to borrow money through next year.

Before the vote, Republican senators said Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have begun negotiations aimed at extending the country's borrowing limit and ending the 12-day-old government shutdown.

It was a near party-line vote - 53-45 - that derailed the Democratic measure. The 53 votes were seven short of the 60 required to overcome Republican objections to considering the measure.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner told fellow Republicans that his talks with President Barack Obama have stalled.

The administration has warned it will deplete its borrowing authority by Oct. 17, risking a damaging federal default, unless Congress acts.

A timeline of Congress' battle over the partial government shutdown and expiring federal borrowing authority:

Sept. 20: Republican-run House ignores White House veto threat, votes to keep government open through Dec. 15 if President Barack Obama agrees to cut off money for his 2010 health care law.

Sept. 24-25: Tea party Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other conservatives speak on Senate floor for more than 21 consecutive hours about using shutdown bill to weaken health care law.

Sept. 27: Democratic-led Senate votes to remove House-approved provision defunding health care law, sends bill keeping agencies open through Nov. 15 back to House.

Sept. 29: House shifts demands on health care law, votes to delay implementation for a year and repeal tax on medical devices. Separately, House votes to pay troops in case of shutdown. Senate approves bill next day, Obama signs it into law.

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