After 24 hectic hours, Congress was back where it started Tuesday night — with Republicans and Democrats in the Senate near a deal to end to the U.S. budget standoff, while House Republicans can’t agree among themselves.
Meanwhile the U.S. government is creeping closer to potentially defaulting on its debt, something the Treasury Department says will happen Thursday if there’s no pact to hike the nation’s borrowing limit. To this point, the Wall Street bond-rating firm Fitch has warned of a downgrade of gold-plated U.S. bonds, citing the default risk from “political brinkmanship.”
The economic nightmare from the possible debt default could compound the pain tied to the ongoing partial government shutdown, which enters its 16th day on Wednesday. The political bickering, and lack of progress, has been going on even longer.
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