Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, gestures to show how close he says the Speaker and the President are to a deal on the fiscal cliff, during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate Democrat says he believes "odds are better than people think" that a deal can be reached to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts next week.
New York's Chuck Schumer tells NBC's "Today" show he's encouraged that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is getting "actively engaged" in talks to resolve the problem.
Appearing on the same show Friday, Republican Sen. John Thune noted a meeting later Friday among President Barack Obama and congressional leaders, saying, "It's encouraging that people are talking."
The South Dakota senator said, "I think in the end we will get a deal, but the question is the timing of that."
He also said the two sides are at stalemate because, quote, "Democrats haven't been willing to discuss the issue of spending."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.