Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters on Friday that negotiators from the House and Senate attempting to avert a government shutdown had agreed to $38 billion in spending cuts for the current fiscal year, but it was unclear what would be done about Republican requests to defund Planned Parenthood and place new restrictions on the Environmental protection agency.
Reid's comments about the cuts agreement were reported by Reuters. Earlier he said he was cautiously optimistic after late night negotiations at the White House, according to the Associated Press.
In recent days, Reid has said Democrats met an initial $33 billion target for cutting spending from current levels. Reports had indicated Boehner was seeking between $35 billion and $40 billion in cuts.
Sen. Mark Kirk told Fox News in Chicago on Friday that he expected in typical Washington fashion, that a deal would be reached with a few hours to go before a deadline.
Negotiations between House and Senate teams earlier today ended at 3 a.m. at the capitol on Friday, according to reports.
Late Thursday, there was no deal after the conclusion talks at the White House in which President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Reid participated.
After the meeting, Boehner and Reid issued a joint statement saying they had narrowed the issues, however, we have not yet reached an agreement, indicating they would work through the night in an attempt to resolve remaining differences.
[T]he largest issue is still spending cuts, said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner said Thursday.
Reid has criticized Republicans for sticking fast to a demand that funding be cut off the Planned Parenthood, the family planning service which conservatives have attacked for providing abortions with federal funds.
President Barack Obama cleared his calendar to attend meeting all day, cancelling a trip to Indianapolis, Indiana to speak about his energy agenda, the White House said.