A one-week stopgap spending bill passed the House Thursday as Speaker John Boehner (above) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid try to work out a deal on a long-term measure funding the government through September.
Majority Whip Dick Durbin said negotiators were “working on a list of agreeable riders.”
“And there are some — some that I may not be all together happy with, but in an effort to find a compromise, I’m open to that negotiation,” the Illinois Democrat said.
Durbin said just two riders — a ban on federal funding for Planned Parenthood and a ban of the EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gasses — were the only ones causing a breakdown in talks at the moment. He declined to comment on how many riders were under consideration and could possibly make it into a final agreement.
Asked whether he believed Boehner was publicly holding out on a deal in part to appease tea partyers, Durbin said, “I sincerely hope so.”
“We are down so close,” he said. “To think that we would let this thing fall apart over two political issues ... for goodness sakes, let’s get the government up and functioning.”
Durbin said he hoped the Senate would not have to be in session over the weekend to finalize the deal but acknowledged that was a possibility.
Boehner, however, dismissed those claims. “There’s far more than one policy provision holding up any agreement, I can tell you that,” he said.
Steven T. Dennis and Kathleen Hunter contributed to this report.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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