Bipartisan talks fine, but what are they saying?

The big development in the Washington shutdown-default situation on Saturday was that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were talking directly.

That’s fine, but what are they saying? McConnell apparently presented a plan developed by members of his caucus, and Reid apparently said “Nope!”

The Republican proposal called for raising the federal debt limit through Jan. 31, and funding federal agencies through March. There were also some minor adjustments to Obamacare, as a sop to the Republican faithful.

Most of this sounds like something President Obama proposed last week, short term increases in the debt limit and government funding in exchange for talks about budget and spending. But apparently Senate Democrats don’t like the short term approach. Maybe Obama is negotiating with the wrong group. He should get the Democrats on board with his proposals first.

But at least Reid and McConnell are meeting directly, not bashing each other through the media. The more face time they share, thebetter.

The clock is ticking, and there’s little time left for posturing.

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