(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama said he had a "productive meeting" at the White House Wednesday evening with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. It's the second second day in a row the president has met with congressional leaders of both parties to spur negotiations on a deal to avert a government shutdown.
"I thought the meetings were frank, they were constructive," Obama said, adding that the discussions helped focus the issues at hand.
Obama suggested he would keep the pressure on both sides to reach a deal before government funding runs out at midnight Friday.
"My expectation is that folks will work through the night," Obama said. "If we haven't made progress [by morning], we're going to go at it again.
"There is no reason we should not be able to complete a deal," Obama added. "I want to meet the expectations of the American people in terms of delivering with them."
A White House official said in advance of Wednesday's White House meeting that the goal was not to reach a deal, but to keep negotiations on track amid fears they "went off the rails."
Capitol Hill sources had agreed major developments were unlikely at the White House meeting, but offered a more positive take on the state of negotiations. A top Republican said he was "much more optimistic" that a deal would be struck to avoid a shutdown. A top Democrat put even odds on avoiding a shutdown, but added of negotiations, "We are pretty much there substantively."
A government shutdown would have wide effects, officials said, including cutting off pay for military personnel and delaying many tax refunds.
At least 800,000 federal employees were expected to be furloughed, the same as during the 1995 government shutdown. But unlike then, it's unclear whether they would receive back pay for the lost time.
Members of Congress, however, will continue to be paid. Every lawmaker must decide which of their employees is considered essential and should be kept on staff while the government is closed.
The clock quickly is running out for lawmakers. Per House rules, legislation has to be posted 48 hours before a vote, which means the GOP leadership has until Thursday morning to post a bill to avert a shutdown.
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