After White House Summit, Leaders Optimistic, but Shutdown Still Looms

BY David Chalian  April 6, 2011 at 11:22 PM EDT

President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid emerged from a late night White House meeting Wednesday with no deal in place to avert a government shutdown.

However, all three men said progress was made in the nearly two-hour long session and that their staffs would continue to work through the night to continue to try to hammer out a deal.

President Obama described the meeting as “productive,” “frank” and “constructive.”
The meeting “narrowed the issues and clarified the issues that are still outstanding,” Mr. Obama said to reporters in the White House briefing room following the meeting.

The president said he remains confident a deal is within reach.

“We should be able to complete a deal and get it passed and avert a shutdown,” he said.

He went on to stress that a shutdown would have real consequences for “real people.”

“We’re going to keep on pounding away at this thing,” he concluded.

The president’s statement was immediately followed by a joint appearance before cameras by Boehner and Reid.

It was the first time the two leaders appeared jointly to express progress on finding a deal to fund the government for the remaining six months of the fiscal year before funding runs out Friday night at midnight.

Reid said that the three men “narrowed the issues significantly” and also expressed confidence that a compromise can be reached.

“We did have a productive conversation,” said Boehner. He went on to say that they made “some progress” in the meeting.

He added the obvious: there is still no deal.

“There is no agreement on a number and there is no agreement on the policy riders,” Boehner said.