New Offer On The Table As Clock Ticks Toward Government Shutdown

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April 8, 2011 11:10 a.m.

Maybe it isn’t a take it or leave it situation for John Boehner. After a Democratic caucus meeting this afternoon, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, told reporters negotiators are discussing a new possible deal.

“While we were in there another offer is being analyzed,” Conrad said. “And I don’t know any of the details, I don’t know if anybody does because it was just been received while we were in there.”

At a press conference following the meeting, I asked Reid for the details of that offer. He kept it pretty close to the vest.“We’re happy to analyze anything,” Reid said. “But remember, there’s no question about the number.”

If the number’s truly fixed that could suggest House Republicans and Senate Democrats are trying to finesse the rider itself in some ways. That’s speculative, obviously, but were down to brass tacks now, and if Dems are holding the line on the number, there’s only one other variable that can give. More information on this when we get it.

Conrad backed Reid up on the notion that the Republicans are obfuscating when they say there’s no agreement on a spending cut number. “They don’t want to have it reduced to women’s health as the sole remaining issue,” he said. “That’s not a very good place for them to be after saying that the whole thing was about money.”

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