Another Budget Meeting Fails

A second late-night White House pow-wow failed to reach a deal, inching the government closer to a shutdown on Friday. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner issued a rare joint statement—but did not speak to reporters—saying they would continue to work to reach a deal before the Friday midnight deadline. President Obama addressed the press after the meeting ended, saying he was not “prepared to express wild optimism” that a shutdown could be avoided. Obama canceled a scheduled trip to Indiana to speak about energy, and aides said the president would not go on a scheduled family vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia. The deep discord in the talks suggests there’s more at play than just the $33 billion spending-cut figure: the Reid-Boehner statement suggested they have been unable to compromise on Republican demands like abortion-funding bans and funding for the EPA.