Since the start of the fiscal standoff that led to a government shutdown and a flirtation with a historic debt default, Democrats have been led by the tag team of President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
At times, their tactics resembled the good cop, bad cop routine where one officer offers the suspect a cup of coffee and the other smacks it from the suspect's lips. Reid, of course, is the smacker.
The crisis is over. With about two hours before the country reached the debt ceiling, the House has approved the bill and it is now it's way to the White House. We've posted separately on that development and we are putting this live blog to bed.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. The prospects for a deal to avoid default and reopen the government now depend on the U.S. Senate, whose members include Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, who's on the line. Senator, welcome back to the program.
SENATOR SAXBY CHAMBLISS: Good to be with you, Steve.
Now, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned Congress tomorrow, the 17th of October, is the day the government will likely have only about $30 billion on hand, which sounds like a lot. But sometimes, daily expenditures get a lot higher than that. This does not mean the government will default tomorrow if Congress does not act. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the U.S. could manage to get through the next few days. But without a deal, the threat of default rises sharply next week.
With the threat of a government default looming, House leaders tried to take the upper hand in the standoff with a bill appealing to their most conservative members. They failed, resulting in chaos in the House and giving the initiative back to the Senate.
This could be the last day the United States is assured of its borrowing authority. Congress could forestall this crisis by raising the debt ceiling, as it has roughly a hundred times before. But the debt ceiling is tied to the same confrontation that's kept much of the federal government shut down.
The possibility of an American default on its debt is huge news across the continent. Europe is barely emerging from its own debt crisis. Europe's recovery rests on demand for its exports and the U.S. is by far the European Union's largest export market.