Senate Democrats are prepared to make spending cuts in an effort to prevent the federal government from shutting down next week, reports CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante.
Capitol Hill sources tell CBS News there are two different negotiations underway:
In the first, Democrats say they will offer substantial cuts in a bill that would fund the government until September 30, the end of the fiscal year. Those cuts could include some proposed by President Barack Obama for next year's budget and also $8.5 billion in previously approved earmarks.
The second negotiation is about keeping the government functioning beyond next Friday, when the current funding run out. That bill would also make some cuts, but would be a short term fix providing only two weeks of extra funding to give Republicans and Democrats a little more time to work on the long-term deal.
Last week, President Obama painted a grim picture of what might happen if the government shut down, saying that "people don't get their Social Security checks, they don't get their veterans payments."
That's not true, however. Social Security checks and veterans payments would still go out as they did when the government shut down 15 years ago. But both sides are now trying to avoid a shutdown, figuring it would be political suicide.