WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Sunday kept up the drumbeat of blame against President Obama for what they say is his failure to negotiate with them on the fiscal crisis that will come to a head on Thursday, when the government will run out of money to pay its bills.
As the Republicans pointed fingers at the White House, Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell met again on Sunday in an effort to come up with some sort of agreement — even one that will kick the most pressing problems down the road for a few weeks or months.
Their discussions appear to be the only hope, at least on Sunday, for a deal after talks between House Republicans broke down on Saturday, with no indication when they would resume. The House was not meeting on Sunday, although the Senate would be called into session.
Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said on ABC's "This Week" that he could feel a deal "coming together" as Mr. Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader, and Mr. McConnell, the chamber's top Republican, prepared for their second day of talks.
(Read more: US budget talksbreak down, all eyes on Senate )
But Mr. Graham also warned his colleagues that the longer the showdown lasted, the more damage they were doing to Congress. "To my colleagues in the House on both sides, and to my friends in the Senate, we're ruining both institutions," he said.
Congressional Republicans continue to push for policy concessions from Democrats, such as changes to the 2010 health care law, in exchange for reopening the government and raising the federal debt ceiling. Democrats continue to resist such concessions, arguing that they would encourage future budget crises by rewarding the Republican strategy. Democrats have shown some willingness to consider concessions in exchange for policy preferences of their own, such as undoing some of the cuts to domestic programs earlier this year known as sequestration.