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Senate Republican leader blocks debt limit vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell 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 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.

(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro and Richard Cowan; Editing by Stacey Joyce)

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