Shutdown talks yield no deal as clock ticks

WASHINGTON - (AP) - Time growing short, President Barack Obama andcongressional leaders failed to reach agreement Thursday night on acompromise to cut spending and head off a midnight Fridaygovernment shutdown that no one claimed to want.

Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority LeaderHarry Reid all said the differences had been narrowed in a pair ofWhite House meetings during the day. They directed their aides towork through the night in pursuit of a deal.

"I expect an answer in the morning," Obama said in anappearance in the White House briefing room shortly after hissecond sit-down of the day with the lawmakers.

The comments capped a day in which the president, Reid, D-Nev.,and Boehner, R-Ohio, bargained and blustered by turns, strugglingto settle their differences over spending cuts and other issueswhile maneuvering to avoid any political blame if they failed.

With the economy just now beginning to create jobs in largenumbers, the president said a shutdown would damage the recovery.

"For us to go backwards because Washington couldn't get its acttogether is just unacceptable," he said. The White House announcedhe had postponed a scheduled trip to Indianapolis for the morning.

But agreement remained elusive, and Republicans passedlegislation through the House at mid-day to fund the Pentagon forsix months, cut $12 billion in domestic spending and keep thefederal bureaucracy humming for an additional week. "There isabsolutely no policy reason for the Senate to not follow the Housein taking these responsible steps to support our troops and to keepour government open," said Boehner.

Obama flashed a veto threat even before the bill passed on a247-181, mostly party-line vote. The administration issued astatement calling it "a distraction from the real work" ofagreeing on legislation to cover the six months left in the currentfiscal year, and there was no indication Reid would allow a vote onit.

As they left the White House after the evening meeting, Reid andBoehner issued a brief written statement that said they hadnarrowed their disagreements and said they would "continue to workthrough the night to attempt to resolve" the remaining ones.

Republicans want deeper spending cuts than the Democrats favorand also are pressing for provisions to cut off federal funds toPlanned Parenthood and stop the EPA from issuing numerousanti-pollution regulations.

"They're difficult issues. They're important to both sides andso I'm not yet prepared to express wild optimism," said thepresident.

What a government shutdown means

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

St. Joseph High School student Matthew Hall visited 1 Teen battling cancer thanks medical team as he prepares to attend prom
The owner of Jewelry Expo in Union Township 2 Sleight-of-hand thieves steal $10K worth of jewelry
News 12 New Jersey - Weather On The 3 New Jersey Weather Forecast
The event, which is only in its second 4 Central NJ brain tumor walked held in Asbury Park
A possible protest is taking shape among transit 5 Commuters threaten possible 'No Pay May' protest on NJ Transit

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE