By Martine Powers and Heather Caygle with help from Lauren Gardner, Esther Whieldon, and Brian Faler, Politico.
PLAYING THE WAITING GAME: After a day of debate over the FAA reauthorization on the Senate floor, chances remain good that Republicans and Democrats will strike a deal on a package of tax extenders that will allow the bill to garner widespread support. But as the Senate won’t be meeting on Friday, don’t count on a deal being nailed down before next week. As Pro Energy's Esther Whieldon writes, "Senate leaders appear to have the outlines of an agreement in place. … But key questions remain to be answered, including how many energy resources would get the extensions and for how long." Sen. Ron Wyden remained cautiously optimistic on Wednesday — “We’ve been making progress,” he said — and Sen. Orrin Hatch proclaimed that he’s fine with a compromise on the bill’s hangers-on, as long as they’ve got some offsets. "They're going to have to meet certain requisites that I'll require" regarding "budgetary standards," he said. Asked if thatmeant the provisions would have to be paid for: "That's right," he said.