WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's Democratic and Republican leaders appear to be closing in on a deal to avoid an economy-rattling Treasury default and end the two-week partial government shutdown.
After an intense day of negotiations with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and other lawmakers, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared: "We've made tremendous progress," adding "Perhaps tomorrow will be a bright day."
McConnell also voiced optimism, although not as much as Reid.
Officials says in the discussion to date, the $16.7 trillion federal debt limit would be raised enough to permit the Treasury to borrow normally until mid-February, if not a few weeks longer. The government would reopen with enough money to operate until mid-January at levels set previously, and agencies would be given flexibility in adjusting to reduced funding levels imposed by across-the-board spending cuts.
However, the officials caution the details could change, and there's even more uncertainty about other elements of a possible deal.
245-w-31-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.)--Talks aimed at finding a solution to debt ceiling crisis and the ongoing governnment shutdown are moving ahead. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports. (14 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *245 (10/14/13)££ 00:31
236-a-08-(Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in remarks)-"to be patient"-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the talks are closer to a final agreement. (14 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *236 (10/14/13)££ 00:08 "to be patient"
237-a-12-(Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in remarks)-"it will be"-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says progress toward an agreement is being made. (14 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *237 (10/14/13)££ 00:12 "it will be"
238-a-12-(Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in remarks)-"people and legislators"-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the talks are tough. (14 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *238 (10/14/13)££ 00:12 "people and legislators"
239-a-13-(Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in remarks)-"the near future"-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says the talks are moving forward. Updated: 10/14/2013-07:57:41 PM ET (14 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *239 (10/14/13)££ 00:13 "the near future"
240-a-03-(House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., with reporters)-"so stay tuned"-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says the House GOP will discuss its next move in the morning. (14 Oct 2013)
<<CUT *240 (10/14/13)££ 00:03 "so stay tuned"