WASHINGTON - The No. 2 Democrat in the House says lawmakers trying to avert a government shutdown have come "70 percent of the way on the numbers" in budget talks, but are still fighting over social policies such as abortion and the environment.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer tells NBC's "Today" show "there's no deal yet, unfortunately." The Maryland Democrat commented Friday morning, with a midnight deadline approaching.
Hoyer says "we're pretty close," but more work is needed. He also says "when we were in charge of the House and had disagreements with George Bush, we compromised. He says he's "embarrassed" about putting the country on the brink of a shutdown and says "you can't negotiate on the basis that one side gives 100 percent and the other side gives zero."
Hoyer called it "inappropriate" for Congress to be raising the specter of an interruption of government services to the public because of its inability to settle partisan differences over federal spending policy.