WASHINGTON (AP) – It always seemed likely that the partial government shutdown would end with a deal largely on President Barack Obama’s terms. But that outcome wasn’t preordained.
There was plenty of anxiety in the White House along the way, as well as opportunities missed by both sides. One came more than a week ago, when both Democrats and Republicans say the seeds of the solution were planted – a serious proposal from Republican House Speaker John Boehner – but they took nearly a week more to bear fruit.
Why so long? To be sure, big issues had to be ironed out. But the major problem with it and other offers was no doubt timing. The essential day for a deal was Thursday, so leaders wanted to get it done before midnight Wednesday night. And this was one of those many Washington fights where everyone would press for advantage until the final hours.
Senior administration officials and aides to congressional leaders described private conversations and certain pivotal closed-door moments to The Associated Press on condition they not be identified. Highlights in the progression of the standoff, resolved with a budget law that reopened government and raised the country’s borrowing authority: