Sunday, July 24, 2011

Debt-limit talks at standstill as House, Senate pursue parallel approaches

By Lori Montgomery,

Hours before Asian financial markets were set to open Sunday evening, talks over the federal debt limit were at a standstill and House and Senate leaders were threatening to pursue two different approaches to averting a government default in a messy legislative showdown.

In a conference call with House Republicans, Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) called for the party to unify behind a plan that he declined to detail, saying he would provide more information when lawmakers return to the Capitol Monday. But aides in both parties said they expected Boehner to press ahead with a two-stage strategy that would give the Treasury only about $1 trillion in additional borrowing authority, forcing another debt-limit battle early next year when the parties are embroiled in the heat of the 2012 presidential campaign.

“If we stick together, we can win this for the American people,” Boehner told his troops, participants said.

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