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Senate leaders remain optimistic about debt-ceiling deal

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday he's optimistic Senate negotiators will reach a deal that satisfied both sides. 

Just about an hour before a White House meeting with congressional leaders, McConnell said his talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had been constructive. 

“We’ve had an opportunity over the last couple days to have some very constructive exchanges of views on how to move forward,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “I share his optimism that we’ll get a result that will satisfy both sides.”

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Lawmakers are at an impasse on how to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government, which has been shut down for nearly two weeks. They are also working against an Oct. 17 deadline for raising the nation's borrowing limit. 

Treasury and the White House have warned that if the limit is not lifted, the government could default on its debt, leading to a recession. 

Democrats are pushing for a shorter-term spending bill that would reopen the government, coupled with a long-term extension of the debt ceiling. That would allow Democrats to push for a repeal of the automatic cuts from sequestration in the near future.

Republicans, meanwhile, are touting a proposal from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that would keep the sequester in place but allow greater discretion in how it was applied. Her plan would also raise the debt limit and change some aspects of ObamaCare.