By Ramsey Cox
Reid added that he was “not overly optimistic” that a deal would be reached but remained “cautiously optimistic.”
“At some point in the negotiating process there are things that make it so we cannot go forward. We’re not at that point,” Reid said. “I’m not overly optimistic, but I am cautiously optimistic that we can get this done.”
Negotiations between Reid and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on a fiscal deal hit a roadblock after McConnell asked to include a proposal for switching to a chained consumer price index — or "chained CPI" — which would reduce cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other government programs. It is unclear whether the proposal threatens to prevent the sides from reaching a deal.
The McConnell proposal led Reid to offer his comments on the Senate floor. He said negotiators were “real close” and a deal could possibly be reached by Sunday evening.
If no agreement is reached Reid said he would bring to the floor a default bill that extends unemployment benefits and the Bush-era income tax rates for families earning less than $250,000 annually.