Congressional budget talks appear headed in a positive direction today, but conservative spending cuts remain obstacles as Congress seeks to avert a government shutdown this weekend.
Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt continued to heap blame on Democrats for not passing a budget last year.
"They could have resolved them any way they wanted to last year,” Blunt said. “So their negotiating position is dramatically impacted by their unwillingness to deal with these issues when they were totally in control of everything."
Missouri Senate Democrat Claire McCaskill said it's time to end a "ridiculous" partisan standoff and pass a federal budget.
Speaking on a conference call today, McCaskill criticized the GOP for not accepting a compromise that actually met their initial requests.
"The House Republicans need to understand that if we have proposed a compromise that represents where they began in this process, it seems reasonable to me that it’s time for us to put ink on the deal and move on to the bigger question of next year's budget," McCaskill said.
House Speaker John Boehner rejected a compromise by Democrats that would cut $33 billion from proposed budget, a deal that Boehner claimed is full of "smoke and mirrors."
If a deal isn't reached by tomorrow, federal agencies will begin notifying employees about which workers are essential and would remain at work, and which would be furloughed.
If a partial shutdown does occur, National Parks, including the Gateway Arch, will be closed this weekend.