Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid reportedly near deal on shutdown and debt ceiling
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are in the final stages of an agreement that would re-open federal agencies and avert the threat of the country missing its deadline to raise the federal debt limit, Politico and other outlets reported.
McConnell and Reid reportedly resumed negotiations after a proposal by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was scuttled by a lack of support from both his own party and Democrats. The two senators will meet with their respective caucuses on Wednesday.
“I know I speak for many of us who were working in good faith when I say we felt blindsided by news from the House,” Reid told NBC News.
The bill would call for $986 billion in government funding, raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 and keep government agencies open until Jan. 15. Lawmakers would have until Dec. 13 to negotiate further details through a conference committee, though Republicans have rejected almost 20 attempts this year to convene such meetings.
Staffers for Reid and McConnell told NBC News they were close to completing the proposal’s final language, which will reportedly include funding for the Affordable Care Act — the impetus behind the GOP-led shutdown — and grant the Treasury Department the ability to use “extraordinary measures” to keep up on its bills in case another agreement on the limit cannot be reached before the February deadline.
The two senators are expected to brief their respective caucuses on Wednesday.
“In order to move this quickly tomorrow or as soon as possible thereafter we need the cooperation of members,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Politico. “If they want to drag their feet, use every objection they can, it’s going to take a few days.”
[Image via CBS News]