Hoyer: Sides might be closer than it appears

But House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), heading up the Republican team, contends there is no agreement on a long-term funding bill.

 Hoyer, who has been in close contact with Reid, said he understands the assessments of both negotiators.

"My supposition is both are accurate,” Hoyer said. “What Reid believes is that there is an agreement on a number that would be acceptable. Mr. Speaker believes that until there's an agreement on all items, there's not an agreement on any items, so I think that both are correct in that sense."

House Democratic leaders have been cut out of negotiations, and the principals engaged in the high-stakes talks have been keeping details close to the vest. 

Senate Democrats, however, railed against Republicans on Friday over a provision to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood that Democrats believe has held up the talks.

But GOP lawmakers close to Boehner told The Hill that the controversial so-called "rider" isn't the main sticking point. Boehner said as much at a press conference earlier in the afternoon, reiterating that "the big fight is over the spending."