Reid, McConnell Speak by Phone With No Progress to Report

McConnell, above, and Reid spoke on Sunday. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
McConnell, above, and Reid spoke on Sunday. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted October 13, 2013 at 4:17pm

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.

“The call was cordial but inconclusive, and they agreed to keep talking,” a Democratic source familiar with the conversation said.

Additionally, six members of the Senate Democratic Conference sought to refute McConnell’s claim earlier in the day that Reid was sidelining a good bipartisan deal that would reopen the government, raise the debt limit and change the Obamacare law in some ways.

“We have been involved in productive, bipartisan discussions with Senator Collins and other Republican senators, but we do not support the proposal in its current form. There are negotiations, but there is no agreement,” said Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, along with independent Maine Sen. Angus King.

Those six have been working with a bipartisan group led by Maine Republican Susan Collins.

Earlier Sunday, President Barack Obama called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The Senate is in session, with no plans for votes or any activity that would require the presence of all senators.

Update 4:30 p.m.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., futilely tried to open the locked door to McConnell’s office and confirmed that McConnell was not at the Capitol.