Stalemate in Washington as clock ticks

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Stalemate in Washington as clock ticks

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Less than 24 hours after the US Senate rejected a Republican plan to end the country’s debt stalemate, the House has returned the favour, throwing out a Democrat bill.

Optimists say this opens the way for real negotiations to avoid a catastrophic default.

But frustration is clearly growing.

Democratic Representative Sander Levin commented to the House: “This is a disgraceful moment. What you’re doing with this bill is to undermine thew chances for compromise. That’s what you’re doing.”

About the only thing the two sides on Capitol Hill agree on at the moment is the need for Barack Obama to step in.

Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said: “I think we all know that if the president decides to reach an agreement with us, the Democrats, most of them, will fall in line. He is the leader of the Democratic party, he is the President of the United States: he needs to indicate what he will sign.”

Obama is now in direct talks with Democrats and Republicans to try to reach a compromise.

Otherwise quite simply come Tuesday, the US will not be able to pay its bills.