While the debate over the "fiscal cliff" dominates the headlines, the dispute over increasing the government's borrowing limit to pay its debts is heating up too.
President Barack Obama is asking to make permanent a mechanism designed by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell that would allow the president to notify lawmakers of the need to lift the debt ceiling without congressional approval. Congress could pass a resolution to disapprove the increase, but the president could veto any such move.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., sought a vote on the president's debt limit scheme on Thursday. But McConnell blocked it, calling it "a power grab" by the president.
Democrats pointed out that McConnell had pressed for a vote just Thursday morning and had introduced the measure. Sen. Charles Schumer says: "The minority leader filibustered his own bill."