The president also renewed a shot at Republicans that he first used Thursday, saying voters "did not choose more of the same in November. ... They did not send us here to turn back to the same tried and failed approaches that were rejected, because we saw the results. They sent us here to make change with the expectation that we would act."
Nelson seemed confident that the Senate would indeed take action.
"It is not slipping," said an upbeat Nelson after the meeting in Reid's office, noting it was always going to be difficult to create a package that was going to be palatable to both Republicans and Democrats.
"Fatigue plays a role," he said, implying that the length and intensity of the negotiations are taking a toll.
Earlier, Reid said the group of bipartisan senators trying to trim the $900 billion measure was making progress. Reid said that while he didn't agree with everything the group is proposing to cut down the bill, he respected its effort and believed the senators were trying to make the bill better.
"They have been genuine in their efforts," Reid said. "They have been responsible in their efforts. While I don't agree with everything they're trying to do, I agree with the efforts that they've made. And I think that we're going to be able to work something out. I feel very comfortable that we can do that.
"If we succeed, Mr. President, there's going to be a lot of credit to go around," Reid continued. "If we fail, there's going to be a lot of blame to go around. As I've said, our entire country will suffer and the world will suffer; we are the economy that drives the world economy."
Republican negotiators this morning were coming and going from Specter's Capitol Hill office, including Collins; Mel Martinez of Florida; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; George Voinovich of Ohio; and Specter. Democrat Tom Carper of Delaware also was seen visiting the office.
"There is no perfect solution to what we're attempting," Reid said this morning. "There's no book we can check out of the library to say, 'This is what should be done.' There's no group of economists we can go to and tell them to prepare a paper in the next couple hours to give us directions what to do. We must do this on our own, and we will do this on our own."
ABC News' Jake Tapper, David Chalian and Michael S. James, and ABC News Radio contributed to this report.