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Senate agree US debt bill

The US Senate has passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a potential default. It will now be sent to the House of Representatives for a final vote. President Obama has said he will sign the bill "immediately" after the House vote.

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Obama to meet leaders as debt ceiling deadline looms

US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will hold talks with congressional leaders later today in a bid to avert a looming default as Thursday's deadline draws closer.

US President Barack Obama pictured earlier today. Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

President Obama said during a visit: "My hope is that a spirit of cooperation will move us forward in the next few hours."

The Treasury Department says it cannot guarantee that the US government will be able to pay its bills past Thursday if Congress does not raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling by then.

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