By Alexander Bolton - 10/13/13 08:33 PM EDT
Five rank-and-file Democrats, most of them centrists, are continuing negotiations on a bipartisan fiscal deal in case talks between Senate leaders fall apart.
The statement came in response to Republican complaints earlier in the day that Democrats had walked away from the negotiating table.
Sens. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampReid: Judiciary a 'rubber stamp' for Trump-McConnell oil is changing the world and Washington GOP blocks Obama sanctions czar MORE (N.D.), Mark PryorMark PryorEx-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood Ex-Sen. Landrieu joins law and lobby firm MORE (Ark.), Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyDemocrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment GOP blocks Obama sanctions czar Indiana GOP divided over Senate primary MORE (Ind.), Angus KingAngus KingCapitol Hill’s forest champions helped secure win for wood The Hill's 12:30 Report Merkley becomes first senator to back Sanders in White House bid MORE (Maine) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharLobbying World Dem senators: Slash executive pay at pension plans seeking benefit cuts Judiciary Dems seek hearing on voting rights MORE (Minn.) issued it.
Heitkamp, Pryor and Donnelly are three of the Senate’s most conservative Democrats. King is an independent who caucuses with Democrats.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellFive takeaways from the Indiana primary Reid: Judiciary a 'rubber stamp' for Trump-McConnell Iran and heavy water: Five things to know MORE (R-Ky.) released a statement earlier in the day criticizing Democrats for not embracing a six-point proposal from Collins to open the government and raise the debt limit.
“It would reopen the government, prevent a default, provide the opportunity for additional budget negotiations around Washington’s long-term debt, and maintain the commitment that Congress made to reduce Washington spending through the Budget Control Act—the law of the land,” he said.
“It’s time for Democrat leaders to take ‘yes’ for an answer,” he added.
Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerHousing groups argue Freddie Mac's loss should spur finance reform Iran and heavy water: Five things to know Trump seeks approval from foreign policy experts, but hits snags MORE (R-Tenn.) told reporters Sunday afternoon that talks had come to a standstill between Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidMellman: Give positive a chance Koch network super-PAC launches ad buys in Wisconsin, Nevada Trump: 'I'd have to think about' Cruz for Supreme Court MORE (D-Nev.) and McConnell, but expressed hope they would resume.
“They did [stall] over the last 24 hours but hopefully they’re going to get back on today,” he said.
Corker said negotiations bogged down after the White House pushed Reid and Senate Democrats to attempt to lift the budget levels in any deal to reopen the government.
“It appeared the White House may have gotten a little involved with Senate leaders, Democratic leadership, to pull back away from the Budget Control Act,” he said.
Reid and McConnell spoke by phone Sunday afternoon.