Reid's bill would also set budget levels and allocations for fiscal 2012 and 2013, since the Senate has failed to pass a budget, which would allow the Senate to move forward more easily with their appropriations.
Democrats insisted rank-and-file Republicans were willing to negotiate. "There's been some movement on the floor today," he said. Indeed, some Republicans, such as Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., endorsed a debt ceiling extension through the next election, which Democrats are seeking in Reid's plan.
Reid and Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said McConnell informed them he was not willing to cut a deal. Durbin said McConnell called Reid Friday and said, "I'm not going to negotiate with you."
If McConnell and Reid do in fact fail to compromise, and Reid can't appeal to seven Republicans to side with Democrats on cloture, the Senate will push the nation closer to default with a looming August 2 deadline. President Obama said Friday that he was relying on McConnell and Reid to come through and cut a deal.
Reid's bill will not survive Sunday's cloture vote without GOP support. He is seeking a deal with Senate Republicans to amend the bill with the compromise measure. Senate aides said talks on a compromise bill were focused on a trigger that would require spending cuts if a bipartisan congressional committee created in both Boehner and Reid's bills fails to agree on further cuts.
In the House, it took the full weight of leadership and an 11th hour capitulation to a band of fiscal conservatives to secure enough support for House Republicans to send the debt-ceiling bill off to fail in the Senate.
As such, just four days before the United States is scheduled to begin defaulting on its debts, Washington remained mired in deadlock with lawmakers holding firm to intractable positions on their deficit-reduction conditions required to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.
The House narrowly passed, 218-210, the bill that the Senate cannot support and the White House has vowed to veto. The Senate is scheduled to take up a proposal this weekend that cannot pass the House, despite White House support. And neither leaders nor aides in either party or either chamber are fully confident the debt-ceiling debate can be resolved by August 2.
Boehner again took on Democrats and the White House in remarks on the House floor on Friday. "I stuck my neck out a mile to try and get an agreement with the president of the United States," he said, conceding that he had put revenues on the table to find a compromise but, he argued, Democrats failed to offer sufficient compromises to reduce the deficit. "Tell us where you are!" Boehner said, to raucous cheers from his rank-and-file.
But House Republicans have barely been able to find compromise within their own ranks, let alone with Senate Democrats or the White House.