Senate Republican leader blocks debt limit vote

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to permit a vote after Majority Leader Harry Reid said it could pass with 51 votes in the 100-member Senate.

WASHINGTON - Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R - Ky.) on Thursday prevented a simple majority vote on a proposal to give Democratic President Barack Obama unilateral power to raise the debt limit.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D - Nev.) brought the measure to the floor for consideration at the request of McConnell. But McConnell refused to permit a vote after Reid said it could pass with 51 votes in the 100-member Senate. McConnell demanded 60 votes needed for passage.

The jockeying played out as Democrats and Republicans seek to end a stalemate on how to resolve spending and tax issues by year's end.