WASHINGTON – For the first time since a political impasse
Senate Majority Leader
Though the two had spoken on the phone and on the Senate floor, it was the first time they sat down together since the government shutdown began 12 days ago.
The get-together follows a move by McConnell to begin seeking a resolution, with House
Until that point McConnell, who has been at the center of major compromises in the past, had maintained a low profile in the current budget fight. He faces a potentially difficult reelection campaign in 2014, with a challenge from the right in the primary and from a well-funded Democrat in the fall.
"The conversation was extremely cordial but very preliminary – nothing conclusive," Reid told reporters Saturday after a closed-door meeting of the Democratic caucus
"I believe Sen. McConnell showed good will," Schumer, who was also in the meeting with McConnell and Alexander, told reporters. "I believe he wants to come to a solution."
On Saturday afternoon, Senate Democratic leaders met with President
There is real urgency, particularly among senators, to pass legislation to raise the nation’s borrowing limit by Thursday, when the
“The real conversation that matters now is the one that’s taking place between McConnell and Reid,” Sen.
A proposal put forward by Sen.
Walking out of the meeting with her fellow Republican senators, Collins said "elements" of her plan would be in the final compromise. But she hinted that her overtures were not going over well with House Republicans, who would have to vote on any final plan cooked up in the Senate.
"I think we are a long ways from them. The House strategy hasn't worked, so let's see what does," Collins said.
The House adjourned Saturday morning and was not scheduled to return until Monday afternoon. House Speaker
House Republicans expressed concern that the president was seeking a better deal from the Senate Republicans, with fewer concessions than they had been willing to offer.
A similar scenario played out at the start of the year to resolve the so-called “