Sen. Schumer: New ‘Glimmer’ of Hope to Avoid Shutdown

By Kate McCarthy

Apr 6, 2011 8:02am

That's what he told me this morning on "GMA," after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner completed their latest round of budget talks last night. But Schumer kept up the pressure on Boehner, trying to drive a wedge between the Speaker and his rank and file.

“The Tea Party just continues to pull Speaker Boehner further back and back and back. They are the people who say they don’t want compromise. They are the people who say they relish a shutdown. And the bottom line is if he can resist them, not give them their way on everything I think we can have an agreement and that is why there is a glimmer of hope," he said.

Following a meeting with Boehner, Reid sounded more optimistic when he took to the Senate floor last night and said “there’s still air in the tire” and “the government is not going to be shutdown – yet.”

And Schumer did seem to suggest that Speaker Boehner’s new demand for $40 billion in cuts might fly if Democrats could determine where the savings come from, and Republicans give up most of the policy “riders” (like defunding Planned Parenthood and Obama’s health care plan) that they’ve been demanding.

So what are the chances of a shutdown this weekend?

“Oh I hope it can be avoided. We are doing everything we can to avoid it. But the Tea Party has to compromise a little bit and Speaker Boehner has to tell them that,” Schumer said.

One more glimmer of good news – President Obama hasn’t called the negotiators back to the White House, yet.

“[It] shows that there is a view that these talks are making some progress, but I’d still be worried particularly because they keep moving the goal post back,” Schumer said.

George Stephanopoulos

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