Looks Like Congress Will Avoid That Shutdown
... at least based on the latest rhetoric
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2011 5:31 PM CST
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid speaks to members of the media Tuesday.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The gist of the articles coming out of Washington this evening suggests that lawmakers will manage to strike a spending deal before tomorrow's midnight deadline to avoid a shutdown. Also looking up are prospects for deals to extend the payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits, say the Washington Post, AP, Politico, and the Hill. Much of the optimism stems from the fact that lawmakers are managing not to snarl at each other in public, unlike yesterday. Some examples:

  • Harry Reid: "We've done enough back and forth. ... We hope that we can come up with something that would get us out of here at a reasonable time in the next few days."
  • John Boehner: "We can extend payroll tax relief for American workers, help create new jobs and keep the government running. And frankly, we can do it in a bipartisan way."
  • Mitch McConnell: Pronounced himself "confident and optimistic."
  • House Appropriations Committee Chair Hal Rogers, R-Ky: "Things are looking up and I am looking up."