WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday that the U.S. Congress would concentrate on legislation to lift the federal debt ceiling before turning to a budget deal aimed at easing automatic spending constraints.
Speaking to reporters in the Capitol, Reid said it was his understanding that the House would take up a debt ceiling bill later this week, allowing the Senate time to consider it next week in time to beat a Nov. 3 deadline for the exhaustion of the U.S. Treasury's remaining borrowing capacity.
"We have two issues, the debt ceiling, we have two weeks left on that. On the budget we have until Dec. 11. We're going to take them one at a time," said Reid, who has been a party to fiscal negotiations involving House and Senate leaders from both parties and the White House. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Sandra Maler)