Washington (CNN) - Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the nation's the debt ceiling and slash government spending narrowly passed the House on Friday and then was blocked by Senate Democrats, setting up a weekend of negotiations to seek a deal that would avoid a potential federal default next week.
The Senate vote was 59-41 to table the measure, which effectively kills it unless Democrats decide to bring it up again.
Earlier, Boehner's proposal was approved by the House in a sharply polarized 218-210 vote that was delayed by a day while the speaker rounded up support from wary tea party conservatives. No Democrats supported the measure, and 22 of the 240 members of the Republican majority also opposed it.
Even though it was blocked in the Senate, the Boehner plan now is the Republican negotiating position for hammering out a deal with congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama to avert a possible government default next week.
Friday's House vote was a critical test of Boehner's control over his tea party-infused GOP caucus. The speaker was forced to quell a right-wing revolt over the measure after a number of members complained that it doesn't do enough to shrink the size of government and stem the tide of Washington's red ink.
Boehner, R-Ohio, managed to sway several of those members by including a provision requiring congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the debt ceiling can be extended through the end of 2012.
In his floor speech before the vote, Boehner called the proposal imperfect but necessary, and he criticized Obama and congressional Democrats for rejecting all deficit reduction measures passed by the House so far.FULL STORY
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