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President Obama ‘Not Yet Prepared To Express Wild Optimism’ On Budget Meeting

With little more than 24 hours between now and a potential government shutdown, President Obama exited a negotiation meeting with Speaker John Boehner and other Congressional leaders with better, but not exactly good news: “differences have been narrowed” between Republicans and Democrats on the budget, but he is “not yet prepared to express wild optimism.”

“We made some additional progress this evening,” President Obama told the White House press corps tonight, reiterating that, on the second night of overtime meetings with congressional leaders, the budget was yet to be determined in full. Should the budget not be settled by Friday, the government will partially shut down, as no money can be spent on non-essential operations. President Obama assured the audience that “the staff is going to be working tonight around the clock to see if we could finally close the deal,” and that “we have narrowed the issues.”

Despite the progress, however, President Obama continued to express concern about the possibility of the government shutting down. “People will be severely inconvenienced in some way… money or opportunities lost,” he explained, giving as an example the inability to acquire a passport or distribute government wages. With that in mind, President Obama concluded he was “not yet prepared to express wild optimism.” He did conclude, however, that because the stakes were so high, he expected that tomorrow would bring a complete deal to keep the government running.

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