Senate Dem Leader: 'We're Getting Closer to Deal' - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Senate Dem Leader: 'We're Getting Closer to Deal'

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he's getting closer to a deal with Republican leader Mitch McConnell that would increase the nation's borrowing authority and end the 2-week-old government shutdown.
 
Reid made the comments to reporters on Monday after emerging from a meeting with McConnell that lasted just over a half hour.
 
Reid said they would continue to work on it and hoped to have something to present to President Barack Obama at a White House meeting Monday afternoon.
 
Obama says that if Republicans can't resolve the standoff over the debt ceiling and the partial government shutdown, quote, "we stand a good chance of defaulting."
 
Obama was at a Washington D.C. charity that has been highlighting the effects of the partial government shutdown by inviting furloughed workers to volunteer. The agency, Martha's Table, is also offering assistance to federal employees who are not being paid and need emergency aid.
 
The visit comes on the 14th day of the shutdown and just three days before the Treasury says Congress must increase the nation's borrowing limit or risk a government default.
 
Later Monday, Obama was meeting with the bipartisan congressional leadership.
 
Obama says the problem is politicians using brinkmanship to extract partisan concessions. 
The last meeting between Obama and the congressional leaders was Oct. 2.
 
The White House says Obama will reiterate his desire for Congress to pass bills to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. The White House also says he will make clear that he "will not pay ransom" for lawmakers taking those steps.  

A Senate Republican says there's plenty of blame to go around for the partial government shutdown and specter of default.
 
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee says he hopes Democrats and Republicans are "getting on the same page" and can find an agreement before Thursday's default deadline.
 
Corker, who has been a key player in previous negotiations, tells NBC's "Today" show he believes the strategy of tea party-supported House Republicans to demand a retreat on the new health care law was "not one that bore fruit."
 
But he charges that Senate Democrats, led by Nevada's Sen. Harry Reid, engaged in "overreach" Sunday in trying to get the GOP to undo or roll back the automatic spending cuts known as a sequester. Corker said, "I don't really focus on who gets blamed."
 
Congress is racing the clock with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warning that the U.S. will quickly exhaust its ability to pay the bills on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the government shutdown is slowing the wheels of justice in federal courts. 
 
Civil cases have been delayed and prosecutors are working with skeleton staffs. 
 
But criminal cases are still moving ahead and so are most bankruptcy cases and appeals. (AP)

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