Debt-ceiling Outcome As Unclear As Ever

WASHINGTON (AP) - House Republicans are trying for a third day Friday to pass a debt-ceiling bill that has almost no chance of surviving the Senate, even as the clock ticks closer to next week's deadline for avoiding a potentially calamitous government default.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner suffered a stinging setback Thursday when, for a second consecutive day, he postponed a vote on his proposal to extend the nation's borrowing authority while cutting federal spending by nearly $1 trillion.

As Republican Rep. David Dreier said, "Obviously, we didn't have the votes." If Republicans continue to fail to pass a bill, then President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats will have extensive leverage to shape a bill to their liking and practically dare the House to reject it and send the nation into default.