By Keith Laing - 10/13/13 03:00 PM EDT
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on Sunday that talks between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were “a breakthrough” in the effort in Congress to prevent a default on the U.S. debt.
Durbin, who is the second-highest-ranking Senate Democrat, said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press” that he was encouraged by the party leaders’ talks.
“It’s a breakthrough,” Durbin said. “Hard to imagine, but it’s a breakthrough. We’ve reached a point where the House Republicans and their leadership have stepped to the side. They’re not a part of this. They can’t agree among themselves.”
Durbin said he was optimistic that lawmakers would reach a deal to avert a first-ever default on the U.S. debt before Thursday’s deadline.
“I’m a hopeful person, and I hope sensible people prevail,” he said.