Efforts to end the US debt crisis have taken another step back after Republican leaders dropped plans to present a bill to the House of Representatives.
Republican House speaker, John Boehner, had already delayed the vote by four hours to try to persuade a faction of the party to support it.
Analysts say in any case it would not have passed the Democratic-controlled senate.
As he tried to rally support for his plan, Boehner told reporters: “The bill’s not perfect. I’ve never said it was perfect. Nobody in my caucus believes it’s perfect. But what this bill reflects is a sincere, honest effort to end this crisis in a bipartisan way, to send it to the Senate where it can receive action.”
The Democrats and Republicans have until Tuesday to find a way of raising the country’s debt ceiling or risk an unprecedented and devastating default that would have a global impact. But as the clock ticks there are no signs of a compromise being reached.
With the debt rising by the second, the crisis has already led to tens of thousands of public employees being temporarily laid off.