Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill entered another round of voting on Saturday, no closer to a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling
Both the House and Senate were set to convene in unusual Saturday session as President Obama appealed for Republicans and Democrats to resolve their differences over raising the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.
"The parties are not that far apart here," the president said in his weekly address to the nation. "There is very little time."
But the impasse that threatens to put the United States in default on Tuesday appeared no closer to resolution. In the Republican response to the president's address, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., accused Obama of being "committed to the European-style of big government" and attempting to foist "huge tax increases on American families and small businesses."
Obama argued that a default would mean "a tax increase on everyone -- we'd pay higher interest rates on mortgages, car loans, credit cards." Kyl agreed that "the consequences of missing this deadline would be severe."
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So far, however, the parties appear to be doing nothing more than engaging in a game of high-stakes chicken. On Friday, the House passed a plan offered by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to raise the debt ceiling with a bare 218 majority. No Democrats voted for the measure. Two hours later, the Democratic controlled Senate voted, 59-41, to reject the speaker's plan. Republican House leaders plan to return the favor Saturday, scheduling a mid-afternoon vote intended to demonstrate that an alternative offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has no support in their chamber.