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Suddenly, it's cool to be bipartisan in Congress

Compromise back in vogue on Capitol Hill
Trump shutdown comments at odds with bipartisan group of lawmakers 02:42

In an effort to avoid a potential government shutdown, the House approved another short-term measure Tuesday night to pay for six more weeks of funding. Senate leaders say they're making progress on a two-year budget deal. Meanwhile, President Trump said he would "love to see a shutdown" if Congress doesn't agree on immigration reform.

What was surprising about the president's shutdown comments was that they came just as Senate leaders said they were close to an agreement, reports CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes. In fact, ever since a bipartisan group helped to end the last shutdown, compromise is suddenly back in vogue.

The place to be on Capitol Hill these days is the office of moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

"I think we've made some real progress," Collins said.

About two dozen senators, Democrats and Republicans, meet almost daily to try to hammer out a middle-of-the-road immigration plan.

"We're back in the ballgame now," said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Suddenly, it's cool to be bipartisan.

"We're here for the same reason. We take the same oath," said West Virginia's Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, as he passed around a pledge Tuesday urging Senate colleagues not to run campaign ads against one another.

"The only way we can change it is to say we aren't going to participate anymore," Manchin said.

To some it feels a little like the good old days when being able to craft a compromise was a point of honor.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. (left), and Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. CBS News

"How do you get back to that place?" Cordes asked Delaware Democratic Sen. Chris Coons and Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford.

"That's still a national conversation, whether the country wants that or not," Lankford said.

Lankford and Coons lead a weekly senators' prayer meeting at the Capitol.

"I do think it's given us a different kind of relationship," Coons said.

"But there is kind of a running joke that happens, that it's much harder to stab someone in the back after you prayed for them in the morning," Lankford said.

They both said words matter. 

On Monday, Mr. Trump called Democrats "un-American" for not applauding during parts of his State of the Union address.

Trump slams Democrats' reaction to his State of the Union address 03:40

"What does that do to the atmosphere around here?" Cordes asked.

"A lot of people don't take it as a joke. They take it exceptionally serious," Lankford said.

"The extent to which it's troubling is it suggests that he actually thinks in his mind that we have an obligation to stand up and cheer when he speaks. That might be true of the leader of North Korea. It's never been true of the leader of the United States," Coons said.

The two senators will play a prominent role in Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast. What we're still waiting to see is whether all this fellowship can translate to results on an immigration deal. So far there has been a lot of conversation, lots of goodwill, but no consensus on a plan that could actually pass the Senate next week.

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