WASHINGTON -- Eleven days into the partial government shutdown and with just six days before possible default, it looks like real progress is finally being made in Washington.
Senate GOP lawmakers went to the White House Friday to discuss a possible deal with President Obama.
Still, Tea Party conservatives still pose an obstacle.
Republicans are suddenly eager to make a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
The change appears to be motivated by a wave of polls that show Republicans getting hammered for the shutdown.
Speaking at the Value Voters Summit, Senator Ted Cruz told his supporters that now is the time to "stand strong".
The Texas senator endured numerous hecklers and interruptions during a speech to social conservatives, speaking over immigration reform activists and delivering a hard-charging speech against President Barack Obama.
Cruz refused to soften his harsh criticisms of Obamacare and the president, suggesting that no less than the very fate of the United States is on the line in the next few years.
"We have a couple of years to turn this country around or else we go off the cliff to oblivion," he told conservative activists at Friday's Values Voters Summit in Washington.
But Cruz was repeatedly interrupted by activists who heckled him, asking why the Texas Republican would not support immigration reform that included a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the U.S. without documentation. At each turn, Cruz suggested that the hecklers were planted at the orders of Obama.
Cruz played up the notion that the White House feared his influence, especially as he plans to join fellow Senate Republicans for a meeting with Obama on Friday at the White House.