Obama reaches out to McConnell
By Justin Sink - 10/15/13 08:18 AM ET
President Obama phoned Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday as senators worked to finalize a deal that could reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
Neither White House nor congressional aides would provide details of the discussion, which came despite the president cancelation of a planned afternoon meeting with McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Lawmakers in the upper chamber appear to be coalescing around a deal that would fund the government into January and extend the nation's debt ceiling into February. The legislation is also expected to make minor tweaks to ObamaCare and establish a joint budget committee to create a replacement for the sequestration budget cuts.
On Monday, McConnell expressed optimism that a deal was on track.
“It’s safe to say we’ve made substantial progress and we look forward to making more progress in the near future,” said McConnell.
The Senate Republican Conference is set to meet Tuesday morning to discuss the proposal. The meeting had been originally set for Monday night, but not enough senators could make the meeting.