TODAY   |  December 15, 2013

Shutdown looming? Budget deal faces Senate fight

A bipartisan budget compromise that would avert another government shutdown is hanging by a thread in the Senate after sailing through the House earlier this week. TODAY's Lester Holt chats with "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory.

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>>> where a bipartisan budget deal is hanging by a thread in the senate after sailing through the house. could we be facing another shutdown? david gregory is moderator of "meet the press." good morning.

>> good morning.

>> it tease senate where this thing is hanging bay thread right now. what's the holdup there?

>> there's obviously concern about it among conservatives who don't like what this does, allowing spending to go back up, reversing some of the sequester as the president wanted to do. i've talked to lead shirp on both sides. they do feel like it's going to get through in the end, there may be some drama, certainly some opposition that's voiced publicly. there's a fair amount of optimism this thing will get passed.

>> it was interesting on the house side. john boehner really took the tea party and tea party -type groups to task over their being against this bill. is that a total change of tone for him?

>> i think it was a lot of frustration, talking to some of his aides. first of all, he's very fond of paul ryan send is a supporter of him as a conservative architect of republican budget policy, but just plain frustration that groups on the right, a minority in his own conservative caucus and outside activist groups are trying to take the entire party hostage with their more pure views about the budget. it led to a government shutdown before, the political damage was steep because of that. republican leaders like boehner, like paul ryan have said enough is enough. the party can't endure those kinds of self-inflicted wounds.

>> you mentioned paul ryan . that gives me a jumping off point to my next question. among republicans, he was way up, 73% favorability rating, paul ryan , on the democratic side it was hillary clinton with 89% of democrats favoring her. any surprises here?

>> i think what's striking about paul ryan is he has carved out middle ground . he is saying to republicans or primary voters or caucus voters in iowa, look, government has got to function. as republicans, we have to be part of the solution and not just standing still saying we're not going to do anything. i think that kind of reception has to be encouraging to him. he's distinguishing himself from other figures on the right. marco rubio , the florida senator, called this deal unconservative and un-american. it shows you some of the real strains there on the right.

>> then quickly back to this poll, hillary clinton favored among democrats. she has strong negatives among republicans. how much of a problem is that potentially for her?

>> it is potentially down the line as you look at electability. she has to look at the left who is going to nominate her, she's got to get that party together, particularly at a time when there are a lot of liberals disappointeded with this president.

>> david gregory , we'll check with you in a bit on "meet the press."