The Senate's Democratic and Republican leaders traded blame for the debt standoff Thursday, as the House prepared to vote on the GOP's plan to raise the nation's borrowing limit before a Tuesday deadline.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said from the Senate floor that House Republicans are controlled by a tea party faction that refuses to compromise.
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, put the blame on Senate Democrats, saying they plan to block the only proposal that might pass.
They spoke under crushing pressure to strike a deal before the nation starts running out of money to pay bills. A key difference between the proposals is how long they would last. The Democratic version extends the debt limit through 2012, while the GOP bill would last until later this year.