Congress' Weekend Work: "No Immediate Sign of Progress"

Kevin Glass
Posted: Oct 12, 2013 7:16 PM
Congress' Weekend Work: "No Immediate Sign of Progress"

Special weekend sessions for both the House of Representatives and the Senate did not yield fruit on making progress between Democrats and Republicans on reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling.

A meeting of House Republicans in the morning found Speaker John Boehner telling his caucus that they needed to continue to hold the line and drive a hard bargain against the Democrats, even though every proposal of theirs had been rejected. Meanwhile, in the Senate, bipartisan legislation was being led by Susan Collins (R-Maine) with help from centrist Democrats. That framework was quickly shut down by Harry Reid as well.

A meeting of Reid, GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and two other lawmakers produced no immediate sign of progress.

The president's party rejected a stab at compromise led by GOP Maine Sen. Susan Collins, while Republicans blocked the advance of a no-strings attached measure the Democrats drafted to let the Treasury resume normal borrowing. The party line vote was 53-45, seven short of the 60 required.

Collins' suggested compromise had gained traction in recent days, before Reid told McConnell it was a nonstarter.

The House has now recessed until Monday, while the Senate is expected to hold another session on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. The debt ceiling deadline given to Congress by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is October 17, though other estimates have said the U.S.'s borrowing power can likely extend a little while longer after that.