The White House released the following statement Monday afternoon:
The President’s 3:00 pm meeting with the bipartisan leadership has been postponed to allow leaders in the Senate time to continue making important progress towards a solution that raises the debt limit and reopens the government.
At 2 p.m. Mitch McConnell greeted a gaggle of reporters. He wore a broad, relieved smile -- an uncharacteristic look for a normally dour man. "We are having very instructive discussions," he said, adding that he thought he and Harry Reid were moving toward a deal.
A top GOP staffer familiar with the talks insisted that a change in sequester levels was not on the table, but a measure to give agencies and departments "flexibility" in spending that money was a central feature of the talks.
He noted the key elements that Reid and McConnell are trying to balance: a continuing resolution, the debt ceiling, a medical device tax, income verification of Obamacare and sequester "flexibility."