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WASHINGTON, July 28 U.S. House of Representatives Republican leader Eric Cantor on Thursday challenged the Democratic-led Senate to accept a House-passed bill raising the debt limit or suffer the consequences of default.
Cantor issued the challenge at a news conference just hours before the Republican-controlled House was tentatively set to vote on a revised proposal to reduce deficits and raise the debt ceiling short-term. [ID:nN1E76R004]
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Senate Democrats would reject the revised plan crafted by Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
"Harry Reid has three different options," Cantor said.
"One is to suffer the economic consequences of default, which all of us hope he doesn't choose. Two is to bring up the bill we sent prior ... or to accept the compromise bill that we are sending over today...," Cantor added.
A previous House-passed bill that called for cutting deficits by a steep $5.8 trillion over a decade, capping spending and passing a balanced-budget amendment was rejected by the Senate.
The latest House Republican bill would cut spending by $917 billion over ten years and raise the debt limit by $900 billion, which would force another decision on the debt next year ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
The bill links further debt increases to Congress acting on additional budget savings developed by a special congressional panel. (Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by Vicki Allen)