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Updated 3:38 p.m. | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., shuttled between each other’s offices Monday in an attempt to forge a debt limit and government shutdown deal before they head to the White House sometime today.
Updated 5:11 p.m. | In another sign of how cold talks have gotten, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke briefly by phone Sunday. It’s unclear whether McConnell was even in the Capitol on Sunday. His police detail was not seen outside his office and his office would not confirm his whereabouts.
Senate Republicans are trying to coalesce around a series of talking points as their leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, negotiates with Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in the days before a potential government default.
President Barack Obama spoke to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a phone call Sunday, days before a potential default deadline and as the House remained out of session.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, continues to promote a framework she has advanced with 11 other senators of both parties to reopen the government and avert default, even after its rejection by Senate Democratic leaders.
Updated 12:22 p.m. | A bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, met Saturday morning to discuss an emerging framework to raise the debt limit and re-open the government, according to multiple sources familiar with the meeting.
A growing chorus of Republican senators support reopening the government either as part of or before any agreement to raise the debt limit, despite a House GOP plan to keep the government shuttered while taking the risk of default off the table.
With Speaker John A. Boehner still trying to figure out what, if anything, he can pass to reopen the government and avoid a catastrophic default on the debt, the Senate may be the place where a deal to end the current impasse must arise.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is meeting with Senate Republican leaders in the Capitol, and though the topic of the meeting could not be confirmed, it’s likely they could discuss the current impasse over funding the government and extending the debt limit.
Senate Democrats decided they wanted to send a message to Republicans Wednesday by standing on the Capitol steps and demanding the government be re-opened. Which would have been fine, except apparently no one staffing the senators thought to check the schedule, and missed the fact that Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton had planned a “Free D.C.” rally just yards away.
Senate Republicans believe the silver lining of the government shutdown will be linking moderate Democrats up for re-election in 2014 to the more liberal leaders sticking them with politically unsavory votes.
Sen. Joe Manchin III said Tuesday that Democrats should negotiate a debt deal as part of the debt limit increase — a break from Democratic leaders and President Barack Obama.
Updated 4:19 p.m. | Senate Democrats are proposing to suspend the federal debt limit until the end of 2014, Finance Chairman Max Baucus explained Tuesday.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Tuesday that Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew has not been “much of a factor” in working with Congress on economic issues, leaving lawmakers to “wonder who the Treasury Secretary is sometimes.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., believes Congress should consider repatriating money from overseas assets to fund transportation and infrastructure projects as part of a potential deal to increase the debt limit, he said Monday.
The tide of public opinion is turning against the GOP’s gambit of insisting on Obamacare defunding in return for keeping the government open — even in states such as Utah, home to one of the move’s top champions, Sen. Mike Lee.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday he will attempt to take up clean debt limit legislation this week, and though it’s unclear whether there are 60 votes to clear a procedural filibuster, an informal WGDB whip count indicates it certainly will be close.
Hyper-aware of a challenge from the right back home in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has embraced a stealthier role in talks to deal with the government shutdown and a potential breach of the debt ceiling.
In these difficult times, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has asked his colleagues to join him Thursday for a nice, leisurely, comity-building bipartisan coffee . . . on the Capitol steps. Where anyone can take photographs.
Is Harry Reid done with John A. Boehner?
The Senate this morning quickly killed a message from the House to establish a bicameral conference committee to reconcile differences between the two chambers’ short-term, stopgap spending bills.
Don’t let the cable news shutdown countdown clocks fool you: Monday’s Congressional fight over how to keep the government operational isn’t really about avoiding a shutdown, it’s about the two parties positioning themselves for a fight over the more consequential debt limit.
Updated 11:30 a.m. | Senate Democrats are considering leaking a series of emails between the chiefs of staff of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker John A. Boehner regarding employer contributions to congressional staff health care plans, multiple top-level sources said late Monday.
Senate Democrats appear to be focusing in on a singular pressure point in the hours before a potential government shutdown: forcing Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, to bring their “clean” spending bill to the House floor for a vote.
The Senate is preparing to hold Monday afternoon votes on the most recently approved House stopgap spending bill, likely at some point between 2 p.m. — when the chamber opens — and 5 p.m.