After emerging from a lengthy closed-door meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders late Sunday afternoon, Reid (D-Nev.) was asked whether he expects a vote on the deal tonight.
“I hope so,” he told reporters.
But sources in both parties said all sides were close to signing off on the emerging agreement except House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). While the reason for the hangup was not immediately clear, the framework has the potential to trigger big cuts in the defense budget. Defense cuts are likely to be problematic for many of the veteran Republicans Boehner will need to push a compromise through the House. A Boehner spokesman did not immediately respond to questions.
Meanwhile, as expected, the Senate failed to break the 60-vote threshold to end debate on a bill by Reid’s (D-Nev.) bill to raise the debt ceiling by $2.2 trillion in an early afternoon vote on Sunday as the outlines of the deal between Senate leaders and the White House began to take shape. Fifty senators voted to end debate on Reid’s bill and 49 opposed stopping it.
The winds began shifting towards a deal shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday night when Reid announced that talks between McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Biden had made significant progress, prompting Reid to delay a vote that had been scheduled for 1 a.m. Sunday on his own debt-limit measure.
“Relief” is the way Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) described the mood on Capitol Hill on CNN’s State of the Nation Sunday morning. “Default is far less of a possibility now then it was even a day ago, because the leaders are talking and talking in a constructive way.”
But, Schumer added, “There are lots of things that are not filled in.”
On the same show, McConnell echoed that “we had a good day yesterday” and the parties “were very close” to crafting a deal framework that he could “soon” recommend that Senate Republicans support.
“We’re not going to have default,” McConnell stated.
“There are negotiations going on at the White House to avert a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt,” Reid said, after announcing that the vote had been pushed back to 1 p.m. Sunday. “There are many elements to be finalized, and there is still a distance to go before any arrangement can be completed. But I believe we should give everyone as much room as possible to do their work.”
He added: “I’m glad to see this move toward cooperation and compromise. I hope it bears fruit.”