As US Senators said they might be close to a deal to end the partial government shutdown, euronews Washington correspondent Stefan Grobe provided an update on the crisis.
Sarah Chappell, euronews: We are a fortnight into the shutdown and the US is now just two days away from a deadline to raise its debt limits. If that is not agreed then the country would default. Surely that would never be allowed to happen, so is there a deal in sight now?
Stefan Grobe, euronews: Well, we have seen over the last 48 hours or so a furious round of last-ditch negotiations between the Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. And it looks like they are closing in on a deal as we speak. What we know is that this deal would reopen the government until January, extend the government’s borrowing authority until February and it would leave Obamacare, the healthcare law, basically untouched. Now, this proposal would only kick the can further down the road, but it would give both sides time to hammer out a long-term budget.
Sarah Chappell, euronews: So, the Senate may be nearer to reaching a compromise solution, but a full end to the crisis requires the passage of a bill through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. How close is that?
Stefan Grobe, euronews: Well that’s exactly the problem, Sarah. The right-wing extremists among the Republicans in the House are ‘holding a gun at their own leadership’ not to accept this deal. So there is considerable pressure on House Speaker John Boehner from both sides. I think there will be enough votes from Democrats and moderate Republicans in the House to approve this compromise and end the political paralysis here in Washington. Politically, it will likely deepen the rift between the right and moderate wings of the Republican party. We’re probably going to see some brutal Republican primaries ahead of next year’s Congressional elections. Some even say the right might break away from the Republican party.