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US shutdown: All eyes on Senate as Democrats, Republicans talk

Last Updated: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 10:05

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Washington: The spotlight is on the US Senate for the negotiations over ending the government shutdown and tackling a looming debt default after the talks between White House and House Republicans ended in a deadlock.

The US government remains shut since October 01 when the Congress failed to pass a budget.

October 17 is another deadly deadline staring hard at the US, as it risks marking a first in the US history by causing America to default on its debts if the debt ceiling is not raised by this Thursday.

In a rare session of Senate on Saturday, the democrats and Republicans held talks but there seemed to be no breakthrough in the sight.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell met in what Mr Reid called an “extremely cordial” but “preliminary and inconclusive meeting”.

Talking after the meeting, Republican Mr McConnell said, "We had a good meeting”.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected a proposal floated around by a bipartisan group of senators that would extend the debt limit until Jan. 31, 2014, and reopen the government for six months.

The proposal put forward by Republican Senator Susan Collins included delaying the medical device tax for two years, provided agencies with flexibility to deal with sequestration, and required income verification for insurance exchanges.

The White House talks over ending the shutdown impasse failed as the Republicans refuse to pass a budget unless Obamaxcare law is delayed.
While the Democrats and President Obama, who has accused the Republicans of holding the government to ransom by using extortion tactics, said that there would no compromise with the health care law.

The shutdown has affected over 4 lakh federal employees and national parks and museums have been closed.

If the US fails to reach any solution on raising its debt ceiling before Oct 17, the impact could have wider international ramifications.

First Published: Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 10:03

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