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Senate nears temporary truce in debt-ceiling standoff

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MCCONNELL: "'It's up to Mitch McConnell.'"

Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday that his party would allow Democrats to pass an emergency extension of the debt ceiling, potentially heading off a historic U.S. default and possibly ending a months-long, partisan blame game...

MCCONNELL: "Don't play Russian roulette..."

BIDEN: "Stop playing Russian roulette..."

... at least for now.

In a statement, McConnell said his offer would let Democrats use normal procedures to pass an emergency debt limit extension, but only into December of this year.

Senate Democrats responded by saying McConnell had lost his battle to push a debt ceiling increase through reconciliation, the complicated process he had been calling for, and that they might accept the Republicans' proposal of a temporary increase to the debt limit.

But the White House was still wary of McConnell's offer. Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki:

PSAKI: "There's been no formal offer made. A press release is not a formal offer. And, regardless, even the scant details that have been reported present more complicated, more difficult options than the one that is quite obvious in the President's view, and it's in front of the faces of every member up on the Hill. We could get this done today. We don't need to kick the can, we don't need to go through a cumbersome process that every day brings additional risks."

Without congressional action to raise the debt limit, the Treasury Department said it will run out of ways to meet all its obligations by Oct. 18.

Earlier on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reiterated that warning during a meeting with Biden and U.S. business leaders, including JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who said if Congress failed to do anything it would lead to global catastrophe.

DIMON: "...could go anywhere from a recession to a complete catastrophe for the global economy, and I don't know why anyone would take a chance like that."

Democrats would have to address the issue again in December if the deal with McConnell goes ahead. That could still complicate their efforts to pass two massive spending bills that make up much of Biden's domestic agenda.

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