Senators Discuss Possibility of Government Shutdown

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) “was optimistic Sunday that Congressional leaders will be able to strike a deal this week on a fiscal 2011 spending bill and avoid a government shutdown,” Roll Call reports.

“I always look at the glass being half full. I think we can work this out,” the Nevada Democrat said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “It’s so easy to do. … It’s a question of how we do it.”

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he “was hopeful that a shutdown could be avoided, in part because he predicted that fiscally conservative Democrats would vote for hefty spending cuts for political reasons.”

“I think we’ll get together,” the South Carolina Republican said on “Face the Nation.” “I think there are a lot of red state Democrats who do not want to take this fight any further. They do want to be seen as reducing spending. … I think we’ll find common ground. There are enough Democrats out there who understand they need to be on the right side of reducing the federal government, and we’ll find a number that we all can agree on.”

Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was asked “if progress was being made on the budget talks,” according to POLITICO.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said, “I don’t know that it has” but didn’t rule out voting on a compromise package.

Sessions also said he doubted that there would be a government shutdown.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Democratic Conference Vice Chairman, was optimistic.

“I don’t think there will be a government shutdown. I’m quite optimistic. I think progress is being made.”

Schumer said a key to the deal might be $10 billion in so-called “changes in mandatory program spending” — he called it “CHIMPS” — proposed cuts by Senate Democrats who want to cut some justice and agriculture programs.

They appeared on ABC’s “This Week.”

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Filed under Budget, Continuing Resolution, Government Shutdown, Party Leadership, Sunday Shows

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