Posted Friday, April 8, 2011, at 7:13 PM
The office of Speaker John Boehner posts this photo taken at 5:32 (and 29 seconds), as the president was on the line. I'm at the Capitol now, where you can see staffers and members going into and out of the leaders' offices. (Some come out with free food.) The mood is not hostile, and it's not resigned. There is no sense -- yet! -- that a shutdown is inevitable, despite what has been said in some Senate floor speeches. There are many more rumors of deals, and readings of tea leaves about deals. Harry Reid was scheduled to speak at 6 p.m. to extend the business of the Senate, but that was moved to 8 p.m., which was interpreted here as a sign that things are still moving.
At the end of the process, if there is a deal, it's likely that Democrats will trade even more cuts for the removal of the Planned Parenthood rider. That rider only cuts $300 million -- Democrats could cut five to ten times as much.