The two-month extension would postpone the battle over how to pay for it as well as more controversial reforms such as unemployment insurance and riders such as the Keystone pipeline, leaving the door open to the fights replaying themselves in March.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when asked about the potential of a two-month deal on MSNBC, was noncommittal.
“What’s important about this is it keeps the fight going on,” the California Democrat said. “You have to give Republicans the credit; they really stick with the guy who brought them to the dance. They protect the wealthy.”
Regardless, the House is more or less waiting for the Senate to act.
Earlier in the day, both Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed optimism that a deal on the extenders package could get done. It was a sharp turn in the discourse following a meeting Wednesday night of the two leaders with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio.). Aides tracking the negotiations tonight characterized talks as ongoing.
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.