Oct. 14 - U.S. senators say they are closing in on a deal that would reopen the government and push back a possible default for several months, though many hurdles remain. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Negotiations in Washington continue as senators are closing in on a deal that would reopen the government, and push back a possible default for several months. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID, SAYING: "I'm very optimistic that we will reach an agreement that's reasonable in nature this week to reopen the government, pay the nation's bills and begin long term negotiations to put our country on sound fiscal footing." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell shares the same sentiment. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, SAYING: "Those discussions continue, and I share his optimism that we are going to get a result that will be acceptable to both sides." An unnamed source said the plan currently being discussed would raise the debt ceiling by enough to cover borrowing needs until mid-February. It would also fund government operations through the middle of January. President Obama met with furloughed federal workers at a Washington food pantry, and spoke of the negotiations. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "There's been some progress in recognizing that we're not going to be able to completely bridge the differences between the parties all at once. And so it doesn't make sense in the meantime to try to use a shutdown or the threat of default as leverage in negotiations." Meanwhile, Americans are getting frustrated by the stalemate in Washington. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FLORIDA RESIDENT JAMES ARMSTRONG, SAYING: "I would have to say honestly I blame the president. I think there's been a general lack of leadership, and a willingness to really sit down and negotiate." (SOUNDBITE) (English) OHIO RESIDENT MARIA KIRCHNER, SAYING: "Oh, I blame the Republicans. I do. I think that they're the problem." A meeting set for Monday between the President and congressional leaders has been postponed to give the Senate more time to discuss a deal.