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US debt talks continue amid signs of optimism

Negotiations to raise the US debt ceiling continue at the White House as Tuesday’s default deadline looms closer.

Image: AP Photo/Manish Swarup

WHITE HOUSE officials and Republican Congressional leaders are close to agreeing a deal which could see the US debt ceiling raised by around $2.4 trillion this year.

The two sides are understood to have made significant progress in yesterday’s talks  as Tuesday’s debt default deadline continues to edge closer.

The deal thought to be currently close to an agreement includes budget cuts of slightly over $2.4 trillion.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said today that negotiators are “very close” to securing a deal which he hopes he will be able to recommend to his fellow Republican soon. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party’s Senator Chuck Schumer warned that there “is no final agreement”, adding that much remains to be discussed.

The Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, delayed a vote on a debt limit plan until later today to allow extra time for the negotiations, Reuters reports.

The US has already hit its debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion and the Treasury has warned it will run out of money to fund the federal budget on Tuesday if that limit is not increased.

Read: Column: Here’s the real problem with the world economy >

Read: A bluffer’s guide to… the US debt ceiling >

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