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POLITICS: PennAve

Senators Portman, Durbin expect budget agreement within the week

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PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Dick Durbin,Government Shutdown,Spending,Rob Portman

Two prominent senators predicted Sunday that bipartisan congressional negotiators will reach an agreement this week to reauthorize government spending and avert another government shutdown.

"I'm hopeful that even by the end of this week we'll be able to come together and achieve that," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, in an interview on ABC's "This Week."

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the second-ranking Senate Democrat, added that lawmakers "haven't closed a deal," but that "negotiations are making progress, moving in the right direction."

One potential sticking point in the budget talks, led by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., has been whether to extend unemployment insurance for the longtime unemployed. President Obama and many Democrats have called for the benefits to be extended.

But Durbin indicated Sunday that that discussion will not impede an ultimate budget deal.

"I don't think we have reached the point where we have said this is it, take it or leave," Durbin said.

Congressional lawmakers will need to reauthorize funding for the government by Jan. 15 to avoid shutting down the government.

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Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner