Senate leaders: Reached deal to avoid default, House meeting

Credit: Kim Uhl/CNN

Credit: Kim Uhl/CNN

WASHINGTON – Senate leaders just announced they have reached a deal to end the government shutdown and avoid a possible U.S. default Wednesday.

Republican leaders convened the Senate’s full GOP caucus in the morning, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said on her way in that the announcement would be coming.

“I understand that they’ve come to an agreement but I’m going to let the leader announce that,” Ayotte said.

Exact details of the Senate plan were not known.

Nor was it clear how the Senate and House would proceed in considering the measure.

Both chambers would have to take special steps to get the legislation passed and to President Barack Obama’s desk before the government’s ability to borrow money expires on Thursday.

Legislators dropped hints on their way home Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, would quickly finalize an agreement in the works all week.

U.S. stocks opened sharply higher on expectations Washington would end its partisan fiscal impasse. The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 200 points.