Sen. Rob Portman, a key player on federal budget matters, predicted Sunday that the deeply divided Congress would this week come up with a short-term solution to re-open the government and avoid sending the government into default.
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Portman, R-Ohio, said Congress would likely reach a deal by Thursday night's debt ceiling deadline that would put off decisions on other major fiscal issues like spending cuts until some months down the road.
“I'm a yes on a deal by Thursday,” he said. “It will probably be a relatively short-term solution. ... We will figure out a way to put this off to have the discussion [on Obamacare fixes, entitlement reforms and other fiscal matters] and I'm hopeful that we will do this is the next coming days.”
The Senate's top Democrat and top Republican sat down Saturday to begin hashing out a deal to reopen the government that on Sunday entered its 13th day of a shutdown. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also are trying to craft an agreement to raise the nation's debt ceiling before Thursday to avoid a government default.
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said an accord will be reached on the debt ceiling in time to avoid the economic damage of a default.
"We need to put everything on the table,” he said. “We know that Medicare has 10 years before it becomes insolvent and Social Security has 20 years or less.”