SENATE REOPENS TALKS AFTER HOUSE FAILURE -- AGREEMENT 'WITHIN REACH'

After House Republican leadership shelved a vote on legislation to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, the two Senate leaders have re-entered into talks and are close to a deal. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are close to a deal, according to spokesmen for both leaders.

A Democratic leadership aide said it’s “likely (cross your fingers) that an agreement is coming tonight.”

“Senator Reid and Senator McConnell have re-engaged in negotiations and are optimistic that an agreement is within reach,” said Adam Jentleson, Reid’s spokesman.

McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said: “Given tonight’s events, the Leaders have decided to work toward a solution that would reopen the government and prevent default. They are optimistic an agreement can be reached.”

Reid and McConnell were discussing a possible agreement on Monday that would fund the government through mid-January and raise the debt ceiling through mid-February. It also set up a budget conference that would end no later than Dec. 13.

A Democratic aide said the deal currently being discussed would include an income-verification system for individuals and families receiving subsidies through the Affordable Care Act. But it won’t likely include a one-year delay in the law’s “reinsurance tax,” a provision that is designed to spread risk among insurers and stabilize premiums in the first three years of the law.

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