By Susan Davis and David Jackson, USA TODAY
"I share his optimism that we will get a result that is acceptable to both sides," McConnell said early Monday.
The draft proposal still under negotiation would approve a stopgap funding bill to reopen government through Jan. 15; suspend the debt ceiling until Feb. 7; and create the framework for formal budget negotiations to conclude by Dec. 15 with long-term recommendations for funding levels and deficit reduction.
The proposal does not include any significant reforms to the Affordable Care Act, which is what House Republicans were originally seeking in the budget stand-off. House Republicans initially refused to approve a stopgap spending bill unless it delayed or defunded President Obama's signature health care law. Democrats have said they are willing to discuss ways to reform the law, including the repeal of a 2.3% tax on medical devices enacted to help pay for Obamacare, in the budget talks but not in the short-term spending/debt deal.
It is unclear whether Boehner can support the proposal, or if he will allow a vote on it if a majority of House Republicans oppose it. However, House Republicans ceded negotiations to Senate leaders after Obama rejected Boehner's most recent terms for a short-term debt ceiling increase.
"I've talked to several billionaires who used to be Republican supporters that have said they believe the markets will act in a very negative fashion unless we act," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., "I'm urging all of our Republicans to recognize reality as to where we are in this situation."
Congressional leaders had planned a midafternoon meeting with Obama at the White House, but it was postponed so that the Senate could continue talks. Instead, White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors went to meet with lawmakers at the Capitol.
"I think we are (close). I really do. I'm very encouraged and we'll see. We're just waiting for this evening and we'll see what comes about and see if there's a process to get this thing done," said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who has been part of a bipartisan group of senators trying to find compromise.
Obama on Monday visited Martha's Table, which serves low-income families in Washington, where he spoke with furloughed federal workers affected by the shutdown who have volunteered at the food bank.
"There are going to be differences between the parties," Obama said. "There are going to be differences in terms of budget priorities, but we don't need to inflict pain on the American people, or risk the possibility of America's full faith and credit being damaged just because one side is not getting its way."