Shutdown continues, Congress edges toward deadline for extending the U.S. debt limit

(CBS News) - Sunday on "Face the Nation," as the U.S. government edged closer to the October 17th deadline for extending the country's borrowing limit, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said a deal to end the shutdown could be on the horizon.

"I'm cautiously hopeful, optimistic that we can come to an agreement and open up the government and avoid default based on the bipartisan discussions that are going on," Schumer said on "Face the Nation" Sunday.

The New York Democrat believes things are moving in the right direction, and that the proposal by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, which was rejected by Harry Reid, D-N.V., last week, "will help bring things about."

"There's a will. We now have to find a way," Schumer told host Bob Schieffer. "Finding that way is hard, but we're not out of the ballpark." For analysis of our conversation with Sen. Schumer, turn to UPINPRPOLITICOThe HillThe Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Turning to the Republican side of the debate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he was "very disappointed" that President Obama "has not played a more active role in this, as Bill Clinton did back in '95."

McCain also urged Vice President Biden to engage with his former colleagues in the Senate.

"Maybe we need to get Joe Biden out of the witness protection program," McCain said, noting the former Delaware Senator's lack of visibility during the shutdown talks. McCain's quip made headlines at The HillPOLITICONewsmax, The New York PostUSA TodayThe Huffington PostThe Weekly Standard and the Atlantic Wire, and was featured as the "quote of the week" in Monday's Washington Post.

McCain also called the strategy to defund Obamacare "a fools errand," a sentiment echoed by Sen. Kelly Ayotte in her appearance following McCain.

"I believe the defunding strategy was a failing strategy from the beginning," Ayotte said. "It's not something that I supported, although I oppose the healthcare law and we've seen the flaws with the law as it's been rolled out."

"It's time to get out of our trenches and resolve this," Ayotte said about the U.S. default on its debt, which could happen Thursday if Congress fails to raise the nation's debt limit. "I hope that this bipartisan agreement is resurrected." Read more about Ayotte's take at POLITICO.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., who is still encouraging his Republican colleagues to "stand firm" on postponing Obamacare, argued that the debt celing isn't the biggest issue looming over Congress.

"The debt ceiling's not the problem," Huelskamp said, "it's the fact that they've been spending about a trillion dollars more than they've been taking in."

"At the end of the day," Huelskamp told Schieffer, "the reality is that October 17th is a date that will not have a major impact unless the White House is able to create concern about that." For more on Rep. Huelskamp's appearance, turn to POLITICO

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