Leaders of the House and Senate were at odds on Friday over the reasons for not reaching agreement about funding the federal government for the next six months to avert a federal shutdown by midnight as spending cuts and federal funding for the women's health organization emerged as key sticking points.
House Speaker John Boehner said on Friday that spending, not funding for women's health services was the main obstacle to an agreement.
There's only one reason that we do not have an agreement just yet, and that issue is spending, Boehner said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In a Senate Floor speech earlier, Senate Majority Leader Harry Raid said Republicans were risking a government shutdown because they want to make it hard for women to get cancer screenings.
Reid said that negotiators had agreed $38 billion in cuts from current levels for the rest of fiscal year 2011 and a struggle over defunding sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate Planned Parenthood was the sticking point. The organization is the largest provider of abortions in the country.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been largely silent publicly in the previous weeks of negotiations on Friday said on the Senate floor that these are no un-resolvable issues.
He said he expected there will be an agreement here shortly.