WASHINGTON -- Amid discord over how to solve the nation’s fiscal problems, key senators Sunday held out hope that a deal can be struck before Thursday’s deadline to raise the
, after which the federal government, already hobbled by a
, could risk a default.
“I do believe we’re going to see a resolution this week,” said Sen.
“We’re going to keep working and offer our ideas to the leadership,” she said on
A plan by Collins would have raised the federal debt limit through Jan. 31, funded federal agencies through March and made minor changes to President
Durbin, appearing on
As the senators' comments made clear, the central issues in the talks have shifted in recent days.
Reid wants an agreement to fund federal agencies into January and a longer extension of the government's ability to borrow money to pay its bills. He also is seeking to soften the next round of sequester cuts.
But he warned against efforts to roll back the sequester. "If you break the spending cuts, you're not going to get any Republicans in the Senate" to vote for the resulting deal, he said.
"I can't imagine you're going to get Senate Republicans to vote for something that exceeds the sequester caps," he said on CNN, saying that the size of the debt was the country's No. 1 problem.
How to handle the sequester is “one of the sticking points” in the current negotiations, said Sen.
Schumer, who participated with Reid in Saturday's negotiations, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he was "cautiously hopeful, optimistic that we can come to an agreement."
"Neither Democrats or Republicans like the sequester," he said. "The dispute has been how to undo" it.
But Graham said he worried about a deal being reached in the Senate that could not pass muster with most House Republicans and that would further undermine House Speaker
"Here's what I'm worried about: a deal coming out of the Senate that a majority of Republicans can't vote for in the House, that really does compromise Speaker Boehner's leadership," Graham said.
"And after all this mess is over, do we really want to compromise John Boehner as leader of the House? I don't think so. So I'm not going to vote for any plan that I don't think can get a majority of Republicans in the House, understanding that defunding Obamacare and delaying it for a year is not a realistic possibility now."
"If they try to humiliate Republicans, things change in American politics," he said. If Democrats do so, "it won't be forgotten," he said.
"Now's the time to be magnanimous and sit down and get this thing done."