Evolution of a debt deal

With default looming, both chambers of Congress are working to hammer out a viable debt-reduction agreement that can garner the votes needed to send a plan to the president's desk.

From a field of competing approaches...

Last week the White House and congressional leaders were considering a limited universe of budget choices as they tried to cobble together a debt-reduction agreement. Talks focused largely on how ambitious that agreement should be. Below are some of the options that were under consideration. Cost estimates are over 10 years.

...the debt proposals have been whittled to two...

After a weekend of tense negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) each unveiled their proposal to raise the debt ceiling. Analysis by the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget reveals that the approaches are more alike than different. Highlights:

...and the House plan is up for a vote today...

The House takes the first step today in putting Boehner's plan to a vote. The leadership is pressing Republicans to support the plan, since it is likely few Democrats, if any, will vote for it. If it passes, it moves to the Senate, where it is unlikely to pass without significant changes.

...and it looks like that vote might be close.

If fewer than 217 Republicans support the Boehner proposal, he would need the backing of some Democrats to pass the measure on Thursday. Here's a tally of where the Boehner plan stands among House Republicans as of Wednesday evening (based on members who have said in interviews or statements that they will vote ''no,'' as well as those who have said they're undecided but may be leaning ''no'').

SOURCES: Congressional Budget Office, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, staff reports.
GRAPHIC: The Washington Post. Published July 28,2011.

Interactive

What are the Senate's options?

Debt

The four procedural options the Senate has going forward in the race to pass debt-ceiling legislation.

Interactive

Showdown over the debt ceiling

Debt

Animated guide to understanding the federal debt and how we got to the current crisis.

Interactive

Votes that pushed us into the red

outlook

In January 2001, the Congressional Budget Office was forecasting surpluses totaling $5.6 trillion by 2011. So what happened?

Interactive

You choose: Who gets paid

quiz

You make the choices about who gets paid and who doesn't if the governement doesn't have enough cash to pay its bills after Aug. 2.