GOP & White House Close on Debt Deal

From the Washington Post:

With the default deadline just two days away, prospects for a debt-limit deal seemed to significantly brighten early Sunday after the White House entered intense negotiations with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Saturday in a last-ditch bid to forge a bipartisan agreement to raise the federal debt limit.

From The Hill:

Sunday: Senate drama may end with White House-GOP deal

By Pete Kasperowicz - 07/31/11 09:06 AM ET

The Senate meets at noon, after having adjourned Saturday night without taking a vote on a plan from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to raise the debt ceiling.

Senate passage of Reid's plan or any plan has always been in doubt, and word of a new deal between the White House and congressional Republicans may let the Senate escape a series of failed votes.

A source said Saturday night that a deal may be in the works to cut $1 trillion over 10 years and set up a second round of cuts from $1.4 trillion to $1.8 trillion. The deal also reportedly would let President Obama raise the debt ceiling in two tranches.

Those numbers are close to what Republicans approved in the House on Friday, and thus would demonstrate the leverage the House has gained by being able to pass a plan. If a deal can be done along those lines, with Obama's stamp of approval, Senate passage suddenly becomes possible.

If it all feels familiar, it should. The White House and House Republicans earlier this year agreed on 2011 spending levels, a deal that gave Republicans about two-thirds of what they were able to pass in the House. Senate Democrats did not seem happy about it, but approved it nonetheless.

And while House Republicans may not support the final deal, many House Democrats would be expected to support it as a way of supporting Obama.