Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) were both cautiously optimistic Sunday that an emerging debt deal would get the support it needs from both parties.
“I have a much more positive feeling than I did 24 hours ago. There is active negotiation under way,” Durbin said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “Key elements are still being resolved. ... We want to move this forward. We want to avert this economic disaster.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) postponed a planned vote on Senate Democrats’ proposal to raise the country’s debt ceiling from late Saturday night to 1 p.m. Sunday, signaling that the two parties could be close to a possible compromise just two days before the Treasury Department estimates the country will run out of money to pay its bills and risk a possible default.
“The leaders of both parties were fixed on the Aug. 2 date,” Kyl said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Too bad we had to get this close to it.”
Durbin described the plan as including a down payment on the nation’s debt and the formation of a deficit committee to study the nation’s finances and recommend possible reforms. The trigger issue — the mechanism built into the agreement to pressure the newly created panel to actually come up with a savings plan — had become a “sticking point” in negotiations over the past few days, Durbin said, but was now close to resolution.
“We’re not returning to this before Christmas. We’re going to do this in a way so that the economy is not in suspense and doubt,” Durbin said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.