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Reid to Start Debt Bill Process by Friday Night

File Photo
From left: Sen. Charles Schumer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Patty Murray and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin conduct a news conference Wednesday in the Capitol criticizing the deficit reduction plan of Speaker John Boehner.

Senate Democrats were slated to caucus Friday at 10 a.m., while on the other side of the Capitol, House Republicans were expected to meet to whip the last few votes necessary to pass their proposal later Friday. The House GOP has not set a time for the vote on a potentially amended bill, but leaders insisted it would occur Friday.

Reid also made a public plea to McConnell to continue negotiating with him.

"I have invited Sen. McConnell to sit down with me and to negotiate in good faith, knowing the clock is running down. I hope he will accept my offer," Reid said. "I know the Senate compromise bill Democrats have offered is not perfect in Republican' eyes. Nor is it perfect for Democrats."

Reid will need Republican votes to send any package back to the House because overcoming a filibuster, or invoking cloture, requires 60 votes. If the Senate is able to pass a bill with bipartisan support, Boehner will also likely need Democratic votes to send a final agreement to President Barack Obama's desk.

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