Senators Close to Deal, But Do They Have Time?

Cruz, allies may try delay tactics
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2013 4:49 AM CDT
Updated Oct 16, 2013 8:00 AM CDT
Senate Close to a Deal, But Do They Have Time?
The Senate's top two leaders say the are closing in on an agreement to prevent a national financial default and reopen the government.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

With the collapse of the House's attempt to end the shutdown and avoid a government default, the Senate is having another crack at it, but it is far from certain that it will be able to pass anything before the Treasury's borrowing power expires tomorrow and the government is left trying to pay its bills with loose change. Democrats warn that the deadline will be missed if Ted Cruz and his allies use delay tactics, and GOP leaders are trying to ensure that Cruz doesn't put such roadblocks in the way, the Washington Post reports.

  • Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are believed to have an agreement in place that could be unveiled soon after talks resume today, the Hill finds. There is a basic agreement and aides are "working on a lot of different avenues but all pointing in the right direction," says Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin. But he added, "After what's going on today, am I going to predict what's going to happen in the House?"
  • A procedural move from John Boehner could help get the solution through the Senate more quickly. (The Huffington Post explains how: Boehner could send a "clean message" to the Senate that "would allow Reid to skip one cloture vote.") But it is not clear whether the deal could pass the House or even if Boehner would be willing to bring it to a vote.
  • The House's failure yesterday is "eerily reminiscent" of Boehner's failure to pass a Plan B during last year's "fiscal cliff" battle, notes RealClearPolitics. He ended up bringing a Senate-approved bill to the floor with Democratic votes.
  • Investors are worried. The rates on bills maturing tomorrow have jumped 16 basis points this week, Bloomberg reports. "This is how fear manifests itself," one fixed-income manager explains. "The market is discounting a day, or several days', delay in payments."
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, meanwhile, intends to use this last day of the crisis to its advantage. It's sent out news releases in 60 districts blasting Republicans there for bringing the US to the brink, CNN reports. "This is it—today is the last opportunity for Congressman (name) to end the reckless antics," they read.
(Read more government shutdown stories.)

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