No Budget Deal Yet as Shutdown Looms

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Congress has less than 72 hours to reach an agreement to fund the government for the next six months. If they don't, the country faces a government shutdown at midnight Friday - the first in 15 years.

Such a development would force national parks to close and could even delay tax returns.

Click play to watch CBN News Reporter John Jessup's report from Capitol Hill late Wednesday, as seen on CBN Newswatch, April 6.

Aware of the looming deadline, President Obama said he would summon congressional budget negotiators to the White House again on Wednesday and Thursday.
   
His announcement comes as the country's budget office is preparing to share the details of what a shutdown would mean and how many people it would affect.
 
"We are now closer than we have ever been to getting an agreement," Obama said, sounding optimistic about the budget battle.

However, Democrats and Republicans didn't appear to be any closer to reaching an agreement after Tuesday's White House meeting with GOP House leaders.

"This $73 billion was the Republicans' original proposal," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said. "So I guess they were for it before they were against it."

House Speaker John Boehner fired back, saying "We're not going to allow neither the Senate nor the White House to put us in a box."

Obama and Democratic lawmakers are pushing for $33 billion in spending cuts. Republicans want to cut $61 billion.
    
The GOP also wants to cut funding for National Public Radio and Planned Parenthood, but Democrats say "no."

"What we can't be doing is using last year's budget process to have arguments about abortion, to have arguments about the Environmental Protection Agency, to try to use this budget negotiation as a vehicle for every ideological or political difference between the two parties," Obama said.     

Congress has already passed measures to keep the government open twice. With time running out, Republicans are proposing a one-week extension with a $12 billion cut, while talks continue.

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