After weeks of ultimatums, President Barack Obama and House Republicans are exploring whether they can end a budget standoff that has triggered a partial government shutdown and edged Washington to the verge of a historic, economy-jarring federal default.
House Republican leaders are considering a short-term increase in the U.S. debt limit as a possible way to break the gridlock that threatens the nation with an unprecedented default in as little as a week, officials said Wednesday night.
Democrats controlling the Senate are planning to try to pass a stand-alone measure to increase the government's borrowing cap, challenging Republicans to a filibuster showdown that could unnerve financial markets as the deadline to a first-ever default on U.S. obligations draws closer.
The government shutdown enters its second week with no resolution in sight and ominous signs that the United States is moving closer to the possibility of the first-ever default in the nation's history.
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