House, Senate on separate tracks in shutdown talks

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from USAToday,

Both the House and Senate are likely to work through the weekend on proposals to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

Negotiations to end the government shutdown and avert default continued Friday as Senate Republicans huddled with President Obama privately to discuss a possible pathway out of the impasse.

“The question is: Can you get something in the next 72 hours? The president seems committed to being engaged in it, and he hadn’t been up to this point, so I’m optimistic,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., following the meeting.

House and Senate Republicans appear to be pursuing different negotiations with the White House, and it is unclear whether either proposal can win over Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who is leading congressional Democrats in the negotiations.

Democrats have resisted GOP efforts, led by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to engage in budget talks until the government is reopened and the debt ceiling is increased before the Oct. 17 deadline.

Boehner and Obama spoke by phone Friday afternoon, but reached no deal. “The president and the speaker spoke by telephone a few minutes ago. They agreed that we should all keep talking.” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed the telephone call, and said “it was a good conversation.”

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