Jul 31, 2011 3:12 PM by AP Posted by James H Egbert
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Republicans have blocked action on a Democratic approach to resolving the debt-ceiling crisis. It was a test vote largely unrelated to the talks between the White House and congressional leaders on a compromise that can clear both the House and Senate.
The Senate voted 50-49 to clear a procedural hurdle toward consideration of a bill put forth by Majority Leader Harry Reid. But 60 votes were needed to advance the measure.
The outcome of the vote on Sunday did not affect the effort to come up with a compromise that would avert a first-ever default in which the government would be unable to meet all its debt obligations.
Reid says he's optimistic an agreement will be reached to avoid a government default. His Republican counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell, also says that negotiators are close to an agreement.