Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said late Thursday evening that he was no longer optimistic about the chances of avoiding a government shutdown.
"I am not really optimistic," said Reid at about 7:45 p.m. on the Senate floor. "I hope things are better when we get to the White House."
Reid was on his way to an 8 p.m. meeting with President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) to continue to try to craft a compromise that would fund the government for the remainder of fiscal 2011 and avert a shutdown when the current funding measure expires Friday night.
"We hope we are able to have some good fortune at the negotiation and work our way through those issues,” said Reid.
The majority leader said social riders demanded by Republicans were still holding up negotiations.
"This is not a debate between Democrats and Republicans," Red said. "Its a debate between Republicans and Republicans. They cannot determine how many social issues they want. The funding issues are pretty well taken care of."
Reid added that the last 24 hours have "not been kind to the American people" and concluded that Republicans’ unwillingness to budge on social riders including funding for abortion provider Planned Parenthood was "really bad for the American people."