Top Senate Democrat tentatively endorses debt pact

Top Senate Democrat tentatively endorses debt pact

Credit: AP Photo/Harry Hamburg

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with reporters as national debt crisis negotiations continue on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sunday, July 31, 2011.

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Associated Press

Posted on July 31, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 31 at 6:02 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's top ally in the Senate has signed on to a long-delayed agreement to raise the government's borrowing cap and cut spending — subject to approval by his fellow Senate Democrats.

A spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Nevada Democrat supports the measure. He's the first top congressional leader to announce support.

Republican Senate leaders said Sunday they were close to a deal.

The tentative agreement would guarantee enough borrowing authority to keep the government afloat into 2013.

The measure would provide an immediate hike in the debt limit, accompanied by the promise of trillions of dollars in future spending cuts.

Cuts in spending would be phased in over a decade. Social Security and Medicare benefits wouldn't be cut, and taxes would be unlikely to rise.

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