NEW: The partial government shutdown is set to enter its 14th day Monday
NEW: Reid says on the Senate floor he feels "optimistic" about prospects for a resolution
NEW: The Senate adjourns, showing no signs of significant progress
The Treasury says the United States bumps up against its borrowing limit Thursday
The stakes of the stalemate are high – and climbing.
The partial government shutdown will enter its 14th day Monday, just three days before the U.S. government bumps up against its projected borrowing limit.
Talks both on ending the shutdown and on avoiding the debt ceiling have shifted to the Senate, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with other top senators, began discussions this weekend.
The Senate reconvened Sunday afternoon, with Reid saying he would do “everything I can throughout the day” to reach some sort of bargain with the chamber’s Republican minority.
But a source familiar with the ongoing Senate discussions expressed doubt that any significant progress would be made Sunday evening. And the Senate adjourned shortly before 5 p.m. ET, showing no signs of such progress.
Still, Reid struck a positive note as he spoke on the Senate floor.
“I’ve had a productive conversation with the Republican leader this afternoon. Our discussions were substantive and we’ll continue those discussions. I’m optimistic about the prospects for a positive conclusion,” he said.
The Senate will meet again Monday at 2 p.m. ET.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said earlier that a bipartisan group of senators was still trying to hash out a plan acceptable to both sides.
“We had 12 people meet yesterday, but just last night I had two more Democrats and a Republican contact me to offer suggestions and say they want to be part of our group,” she said on CNN’s State of the Union.
“It’s taken far too long. We never should be in this situation,” she added. “But I do believe there’s going to be a resolution this week.”
Likewise, Sen. Dick Durbin, the Democratic whip, said he thinks that Congress will ultimately get the job done.
“I’m a hopeful person. I believe we can do it. I hope sensible people prevail, because at this point, it’s not just a shutdown and all of the damage it’s caused, but if we default on our debt, it will have a dramatic impact on the savings account, on the retirement account of average Americans,” Durbin, of Illinois, said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said he too thinks Congress will find a way out of the crisis before Thursday, when the United States hits the debt ceiling.
“We will have decided as a Congress that we need to avoid going over the debt limit, and we’ll figure it out. And it will probably be a relatively short-term solution,” Portman said.
A weekend of rejections
But while senators’ comments and reports of talks were positive, the only actions over the weekend involved one “no” after another.
– Reid said Saturday that the plan Collins was assembling is no longer on the table, because it treated reopening the government as a “concession.” Reid continues to demand that any plan include a “clean” bill, one that raises the debt limit and reopens the government with no strings attached.