PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Sen. Angus King of Maine says Senate Democratic and Republican leaders pushed by a bipartisan group of senators nearly had a deal before House Republicans decided to move in a new direction.


King, an independent, and fellow Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, are part of 13 or 14 senators who have been meeting in Collins' office to try to reach consensus on ending the government shutdown.

He said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell were 95 percent of the way to a deal when "all of a sudden those negotiations stopped."

He said that working for middle ground is what he was elected to do. And he said Collins is showing "leadership" by bucking the conservative wing of her party.