The Senate's two top leaders have been negotiating since the weekend on a narrower plan to end the budget standoff. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and the Senate's Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, indicated they were close to reaching an agreement. Details were still in flux, but the Senate plan focused on reopening the government and raising the nation's borrowing limit into early 2014 while creating a framework for broader budget talks.
Mr. Reid, speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday as the chamber was called into session, said talks with Mr. McConnell continued to produce "productive negotiations," but he didn't reference the developments in the House. "I'm confident we'll be able to reach a comprehensive agreement this week in time to avoid a catastrophic default on the nation's bills," he said.
Reps. Charlie Dent (R., Pa.) and Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) and others confirmed the details of the House plan as they left the Republican meeting.
The House bill would also remove a provision of the soon-to-be-announced Senate deal that seeks to delay an annual fee on insurance providers. The $63 fee, which the Senate seeks to delay by a year, is set to be levied on those who provide insurance, including unions and employers.
The House changes on insurance subsidies for members and senior administration officials is a scaled-back version of legislation offered by Sen. David Vitter (R., La.), but it doesn't apply to staff, lawmakers said. Attending the House GOP meeting was at