Officials Tout Last-Minute Government Shutdown Deal


However, a high-level House GOP source emailed ABC News: "Looks like there'll be a deal, but there are several important details yet to be worked out." The source added that leadership in the Republican House was confident the details could be resolved before midnight.

Boehner later laid out the specifics of "a deal in principal" to the entire House GOP conference in a closed meeting, a source at the meeting said. The source said reaction to the deal was "pretty favorable."

As Republicans met, Reid repeatedly postponed plans to address the potential government shutdown on the Senate floor.

Before the GOP meetings, Capitol Hill sources seemed to be all over the map when asked if a deal on a proposed Republican rider to defund some Planned Parenthood women's health programs was in the works, or whether there would be an overall spending deal.

Some sources close to the negotiations said the Planned Parenthood issue might be tabled for another day in order to focus the negotiations on other matters of government spending, while others suggested the issue still was a sticking point.

Earlier, senior Republicans denied Planned Parenthood was the key sticking point holding up a deal.

"There's only one reason that we do not have an agreement as yet, and that issue is spending," Boehner said today. "We're close to a resolution on the policy issues, but I think the American people deserve to know: When will the White House, and when will Senate Democrats get serious about cutting spending?"

However, Reid said the two sides had agreed to $38 billion in cuts and many of the Republicans' so-called "policy riders" -- but not the one that aimed to bar funding for Planned Parenthood.

He assailed Republicans, saying talks have deadlocked on "ideology."

"Republicans want to shut down the government because they think there's nothing more important than keeping women from getting cancer screenings," Reid said. "This is indefensible and everyone should be outraged. Men and women should be outraged. Republican House leadership have only a few hours left to look in the mirror and snap out of it and realize how positively shameful it would be."

Republicans continued to dispute Reid's suggestion that there was agreement on the budget cuts.

"If the government shuts down, it's either because Democrats are pretending -- pretending that a previously non-controversial provision is suddenly out of bounds -- or they refuse to take another baby step in the direction of balancing the government checkbook, something we know the American people want," said Senate's top Republican Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

A government shutdown would have had wide effects, including perhaps 800,000 federal worker furloughs, curtailment of public services such as mortgage, passport and loan processing, delayed tax refunds, interruption of military paychecks and disruption to a recovering economy.

Essential personnel kept on duty during a government shutdown -- including troops in the field -- would not receive paychecks, but members of Congress would.

Boehner said today he would return his pay during the days the government was shut down.

"In the event of a lapse in appropriations for fiscal year 2011 causing a government shutdown, I will return any and all compensation that I would otherwise be entitled during such a lapse in appropriations," Boehner said in a letter to fellow House members.

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