From FNC’s Kara Rowland:
PLANNING NUTS AND BOLTS:
The Senate convenes today at 1pm. We expect the usual drill — prayer, pledge and then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will likely make remarks on the floor.
As of now there are no votes scheduled nor are there any press conferences scheduled. So it’s entirely possible that all we see is some leader remarks and then perfunctory speeches on the Senate floor and then they gavel out after a few hours.
Indeed, the real action is going on behind the scenes as both sides are now at least at a point where the lines of communication are open and in the case of yesterday were actually used. Following Saturday morning’s meeting between Senators Reid, McConnell, Alexander and Schumer, I am told there are currently NO additional meetings planned but a Senate leadership aide tells me “they’ll continue talking.”
If there’s some kind of breakthrough we could potentially see things heat up and perhaps even a press conference … but I wouldn’t count on it since we just don’t know at this point. Obviously we will keep you updated on what we hear.
A few important things to note. All the action right now is in the Senate — it’s widely agreed that it’s up to the Senate now to craft a solution to get us out of this mess. Despite the fact that Democratic leaders rejected Sen. Susan Collins’ proposal on Saturday, she is not giving up and in fact put out a statement late in the day noting that her framework continues to garner support. While her plan does include a two-year delay of the medical device tax as well as means testing for those who receive subsidies on the insurance exchanges, note that the focus on sweeping Obamacare changes — such as defunding or delaying the individual mandate — has all but disappeared. The real sticking points are now on spending. Yesterday that’s when Senate Democratic leaders kept stressing when outlining their opposition to the Collins proposal — that it locks in the sequester and does nothing to replace it. That’s why you have many Republicans out there (like Sen. Corker on FNS this AM) trying to refocus the discussion on the Budget Control Act, which put the sequester into place, arguing that it’s the law of the land. Democrats would also like to see the debt ceiling raised for a longer period of time.
Capitol Hill Producer