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Senate Lawmakers Squabble over Debt Ceiling as Deadline Nears

Leaders of both parties have hardened their standoff over the debt ceiling

On Tuesday, a top U.S. Senate Republican called on President Joe Biden to accept his party's plan to slash spending or make a counter-offer, while a key Democrat stressed the need for a "clean" debt-ceiling hike that would require Republican support to pass.

With barely a month to go before a possible catastrophic U.S. default, leaders of both parties hardened their standoff over the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, with Republicans insisting that Democrats take seriously the legislation that passed the House of Representatives along party lines last week.

"There's a House deal on the table," Senator John Thune, the chamber's No. 2 Republican, told reporters in the U.S. Capitol, a week before Biden was expected to host a bipartisan meeting with party congressional leaders. "The president's got to accept that or counter-offer."

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