Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell ended a day of constant talks in quite an optimistic day, as details leaked out of the pact they were negotiating.
“We’ve made tremendous progress,” the Majority leader at the end of intense talks on Monday, underscoring the urgency of settling a fiscal crisis that was nearing a Thursday deadline.
The U.S. Treasury Department claims that it will reach a $16.7 trillion borrowing limit on October 17, reports Reuters.
“We hope that with good fortune … that perhaps tomorrow will be a bright day,” Reid said, hinting at the possible Tuesday announcement of a bipartisan Senate deal.
McConnell, the Democrat who has been highly criticizing Reid all year instead had a smile on his face and upbeat words. “We’ve had a good day; had a good day yesterday,” he said of his work with Reid.
In an early sign of Republican opposition, Representative Joe Barton of Texas told reporters: “No deal is better than a bad deal.”
However, Republican Representative Peter King suggested that it would appear to be hard for the House of Representatives not to put it to a vote if it gets strong support from Senate Republicans.
“For the (Senator) Cruz wing of the party who say we should get a better deal, I say we would have gotten a better deal if we had not shut the government down and gotten right to debt negotiations,” said King.
Given that the long awaited deal is reached within a few days, it will still remain unclear whether Congress can pass legislation to avert the October 17 default deadline.
Hard-liners such as Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz might be able to exploit Senate rules to delay a vote for several days.
Surrounded by reporters on Monday Cruz responded to repeated questions about his intentions by only saying, “We’ll have to wait to see what the details are” of any pact.
“We’ll have to wait to see what the details are,” Cruz said at least nine times.
His colleagues said they hoped the Republican and his fellow allies would not object if the a measure hits the Senate floor.
“I think it’d be very tough for somebody to stand up just on procedural grounds just to hold it up at this stage in the game. I would hope that’s not the case, but that’s always a concern,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who supports the deal.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, Republican, didn’t reveal to reporters whether he’d vote for something along the lines of what’s taking shape in the Senate talks.
The politician suggested that the deal would pass the Senate, ultimately, but not necessarily quickly.
“It looks to me like it would be difficult to get” unanimous consent, Grassley told reporters. “But if this is a thing that’s put together enough, except for going through the process of cloture, you’re going to get this through the Senate, would be my guess.”