There's a glimmer of hope in Washington Wednesday morning as signs emerge that deficit talks may be progressing.
President Obama is lauding a bipartisan plan by the Senate's so-called "Gang of Six" that would cut at least $3.7 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years.
"I think we are now seeing the potential for a bipartisan consensus," the president said.
The plan calls for spending cuts that would include trimming Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. It would raise $1 trillion through higher taxes.
The proposal already appears to be gaining traction in the Senate.
"We had a very positive reaction this morning," Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said.
"They've come to a bipartisan agreement and I support it," Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said.
Wall Street also seems to like the plan. On Tuesday, the stock market had its best one-day result of the year, and the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 200 points.
Meanwhile, a separate 234-190 vote in the House Tuesday reflected the strength of Tea Party forces, signaling it could be hard to find allies there for the new Senate plan.
House conservatives reveled in their successful passage of the "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill.
"Let me be clear. This is the compromise. This is the best plan out there," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, head of a conservative group inside the House known as the Republican Study Committee.
The measure not only calls for immediate spending cuts, it would also require a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before any increase in the debt limit could be approved.
But Senate Democrats are already rejecting that bill.
In the meantime, Americans are growing desperate for any sign the two sides will soon find middle ground.
A new ABC News and Washington Post poll shows 80 percent are dissatisfied and angry with the federal government.
"We've had enough, and we want you to work together. Get it done," one person said.
The president now says he wants to "start talking turkey" with congressional leaders. A meeting to deal with the deficit could come as early as Wednesday.