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Top aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are working to finalize plans to raise the debt limit through Feb. 7 and end the 16-day-old government shutdown, after a House Republican effort to forge a solution collapsed Tuesday in humiliating failure.

“We are getting real close,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said just before 11 a.m., as Republicans began to enter a meeting at which they were expected to finalize the plan.

But it was unclear whether the legislation could become law before the Treasury Department exhausts its borrowing power Thursday. Meeting that deadline would be impossible if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) or other conservative hard-liners chose to throw up roadblocks, Democrats said. Republican leaders were leaning on Cruz and his allies to avoid unnecessary delays.

“The clock is ticking,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 3 Republican in the Senate. “Given the consequence of what we’re talking about here, . . . I would hope that we would have genuine interest among all parties in terms of trying to get this done as quickly as possible.”

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