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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Capitol Hill for the next few days

Here's the state of play on Capitol Hill, as new proposals emerge to deal with the debt ceiling and budget: 

Senate Democrats visited the White House Thursday afternoon. A team of House Republicans was heading there next. 

After that, the House will forge ahead on the GOP debt limit plan, which would raise the debt ceiling for six weeks. It is probably going to the House Rules Committee (the gateway to the House floor) tonight around 7-8 p.m. ET.

There is a SLIM possibility that they could put the clean debt ceiling bill on the floor tonight for debate and vote. The thought is that moving it tonight helps so members don’t get too worried about it and no one has a chance to blow it up.

Fox News is told the measure would probably extend the debt ceiling to Nov. 22. But two senior House GOP aides say that date could slip a bit.

However, the key is that there will be a firm date, and also a strict prohibition on the Treasury Department from implementing “extraordinary measures” to keep from hitting the debt ceiling. “Extraordinary measures” are essentially the federal equivalent of rifling through the couch cushions for loose change. But the government has avoided hitting the debt ceiling since May due to the use of “extraordinary measures.” Treasury simply says the deadline those will run out is Oct. 17. 

But it’s more likely the House would meet Friday morning to do the debt ceiling bill -- and then another mini-funding bill to run another section of the government.

A House session is also possible on Saturday, to debate another mini-spending bill. 

But, if the White House engages this afternoon, and there are actual talks, leadership and others would be here and there could be some degree of shuttle diplomacy.

The Senate situation is a little murky.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has already spoken about a procedural vote on Saturday morning. 

It is a possibility that he will file cloture tonight on the motion to proceed to his own clean debt ceiling increase bill. 

Cloture petitions need two days to ripen, so that would set up procedural vote to halt debate on the effort to call up the Senate’s clean debt limit bill on Saturday. Such a vote needs 60 votes. 

What happens after that is anybody’s guess. If the Senate does hold that vote on Saturday, and invokes cloture, the Senate could remain in session the rest of the weekend -- working on the debt ceiling bill, or waiting to get it called up on the floor.