Senators Express Optimism on Budget Talks, but Hard Bargaining Remains

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WASHINGTON — Amid discord over how to solve the nation’s fiscal problems, key senators Sunday held out hope that a deal can be struck before Thursday’s deadline to raise the debt ceiling, after which the federal government, already hobbled by a shutdown, could risk a default.


President Barack Obama and Cecilia Muñoz, director of the Domestic Policy Council, talk with Sen. John McCain, left, and Sen. Chuck Schumer at the White House in July. (credit: Pete Souza/White House)

“I do believe we’re going to see a resolution this week,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), one of the leaders of a bipartisan Senate group that has tried to negotiate a solution to the shutdown of government agencies and the need to lift the debt limit.

“We’re going to keep working and offer our ideas to the leadership,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union

A plan by Collins would have raised the federal debt limit through Jan. 31, funded federal agencies through March and made minor changes to President Obama’s healthcare law. Senate Democratic leaders have not accepted Collins’ proposal although Senate aides say some elements of it could figure in a final deal.

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