Senate leader working with Republicans over US govt reopening, debt limit extension

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, left, comments to journalists as he takes the elevator after a rare Senate session on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he woul
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, left, comments to journalists as he takes the elevator after a rare Senate session on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would work throughout Sunday with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to get a deal to reopen the government and extend US borrowing authority. -- PHOTO: AP

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would work throughout Sunday with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to get a deal to reopen the government and extend US borrowing authority.

Mr Reid, speaking on the Senate floor, also denied Republican charges that Democrats were trying to exceed spending caps from a 2011 budget law in the talks, adding that they were willing to support current levels through Nov 15.

But in talks about a longer extension of government funding, Democrats have insisted on some relief from the across-the-board "sequester" spending cuts.

"We're in conversation today," Mr Reid said of his discussions with Mr McConnell. "I'm confident that Republicans will allow the government to open and extend the ability of this country to pay its bills. And I'm going to do everything that I can throughout the day to accomplish just this. It's important that we do this.

"We must do this. It's the height of hypocrisy to not pay our bills."