Reid calls Senate to the floor to tamp down McConnell's optimism

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSuper-PAC targets Portman on trade Dem leader urges compromise on FCC set-top box plan Senate Dems introduce Iran sanctions extension MORE (D-Nev.) told Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellWhy a bill about catfish will show whether Ryan's serious about regulatory reform Trump is right about one thing Winners, losers of GOP convention MORE (R-Ky.) it was just plain wrong when McConnell told reporters there was reason for hope in debt-ceiling negotiations.

The "Republican leader held a press conference to announce they’re in talks with the president and that a bargain to raise the debt limit is in the works and is close," said Reid, who had recently returned from a nearly two-hour meeting with President Obama. "That's not true… the agreement is not in a meaningful way." 

"The Speaker and Republican leader should know that merely saying you have an agreement in front of television cameras doesn't make it so," Reid said.

In a press conference earlier in the afternoon, McConnell expressed optimism that a deal could soon be reached.

“I’ve spoken with the president and the vice president within the last hour and a half," McConnell said. "We are now fully engaged with the one person … who can sign a bill into law.” 

On the Senate floor, however, McConnell quickly fired back that he had seen reason to be optimistic in his own talks with Obama.

"I'm more optimistic than my friend," said McConnell, referring to Reid. "We both talked to the president today. … We've got a chance of getting there."

McConnell then went on to blast Reid for calling a seemingly meaningless procedural vote to request the presence of senators in the chamber and for delaying a pending vote on his own debt-ceiling legislation, which is expected to fall short.

"I actually cut short a conversation with the vice president to come out here for this important vote on a live quorum," McConnell said. "I'd like to get back to work so we can hopefully solve this problem."

McConnell then proposed an immediate vote on Reid's debt-ceiling proposal. His request was objected to by Reid.

A procedural vote on Reid's plan to raise the debt ceiling is expected for 1 a.m. on Sunday. 

More in Senate

Senate Dems block 'sanctuary cities' bill

Read more »