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Posted at 03:28 PM ET, 04/08/2011

Nine hours on the Hill, Nine press conferences as shutdown nears


Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pauses while speaking to reporters after a luncheon with Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill April 5. (Brendan Smialowski - GETTY IMAGES)
Are negotiators making progress at averting a government shutdown tonight?

Hard to tell.

Are lawmakers working to get their message across?

That one’s a little bit easier.

Every hour on the hour since the House came into session at 10 a.m. Friday, members of both parties have gone out in front of the lights and microphones to blame the other side for a potential government shutdown at midnight.

Here’s a rundown of the budget-related events that lawmakers had held as of Friday afternoon:

10 a.m.: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Democratic Conference Secretary Patty Murray (Wash.) held a news conference in the Senate Press Gallery at which they blamed Republicans for the budget impasse.

11 a.m.: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) held a news conference in the Speaker’s Balcony calling on Democrats to pass a one-week funding measure.

12 p.m.: A group of Senate Democratic women held an event in the Senate TV Studio accusing Republicans of waging an assault on women.

1 p.m.: House Republican leaders held a news conference after a closed-door conference meeting in the Capitol basement at which Boehner renewed his call for Democrats to pass a one-week stopgap and said Republicans are “damn serious” about spending.

2 p.m.: The Senate Democratic caucus held a press conference in the Senate’s Rayburn Room at which leaders accused Republicans of backing away from a budget deal.

3 p.m.: House Democratic women including Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) held a press conference in the House TV Studio on women’s issues and the budget negotiations.

4 p.m.: House Republican women including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) held a news conference, also in the House TV Studio, and also on women’s issues and the budget talks.

4:45 p.m.: Democratic Reps. Joe Crowley (N.Y.), Rick Larsen (Wash.) and Gary Peters (Mich.) held a news conference in the House TV Studio on the budget talks.

5 p.m.: Members of the House Progressive Caucus discussed the budget at a news conference in a Capitol Visitors Center meeting room.

Those were only the press events that had held as of late afternoon; depending on how the budget negotiations go, more could be on the way.

By  |  03:28 PM ET, 04/08/2011

 
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