Democrats and Republicans will reach a deal by Friday to avert a government shutdown, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) predicted Friday.
The leader of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus did not predict the form of a deal, or whether it would be a short- or long-term agreement, but suggested it would allow lawmakers to move on to debate the 2012 budget.
"I firmly believe that by Friday this deal will be made and that there won't be a shutdown," she said during an interview on MSNBC. "I actually do think we will reach an agreement and move on [to 2012]."
But the potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate also said she "can't vote for the current compromise we're looking at."
Bachmann's take runs counter to the emerging consensus that the chances of a shutdown are on the rise now that lawmakers have three days left to pass a spending bill.
The congresswoman said that the House Tea Party Caucus would not be taking an official position on a spending compromise and would allow members to make up their own minds on how to vote.
Tea Party activists, many of whom have urged GOP leaders to hold firm on making $61 billion in spending cuts this year, could be disheartened if Bachmann's prediction comes true.
She also echoed the Republican claim that Democrats have not offered a serious budget proposal and are "rooting" for a shutdown.