Harry Reid 'very optimistic'
Senate leaders were closing in on a deal Monday to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government, with leaders of both parties expressing optimism that they will reach agreement soon.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said he was “very optimistic” of reaching a deal soon, indicating as he opened the Senate floor for the day that he and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were conducting “constructive, good faith” negotiations.
McConnell likewise said “discussions continue” and that he shared Reid’s “optimism that we’re going to get a result.”
One framework under consideration, according to a Senate source, was a deal that would fund federal agencies until Jan. 15 and raise the debt limit until Feb. 15.
The proposal would meet a Democratic demand that budget talks take place before a new round of sequestration cuts takes effect in January. Not yet settled between the sides is whether it would address a tax on medical devices.
Republicans are pushing for a delay or elimination of the tax but Democrats have resisted, citing their long held position of not making concessions in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.
Reid and McConnell met multiple times Monday to discuss that proposal, which would require the two sides to open negotiations over a broader budget plan in coming months.