RICHMOND, Va. -

There was plenty of blame from both sides Wednesday with the two-year budget hanging in the balance, but no apparent progress as the scheduled end of the General Assembly session aproached.

"You know I just don't see any middle ground right now," said Senator Bill Stanley (R) Franklin County. "And I hope there is, but I don't see it. And what we believe certainly on the Republican side is that this program is just too expensive, too burdensome."

"Why in the world would they not want to take these funds," countered Senator John Edwards (D) Roanoke. "As I say the business community, the hospitals, everybody I've talked to in the health care field thinks it's a good idea."

If not for one major issue, there would be no budget battle this year.  House and Senate negotiators say with the exception of Medicaid expansion, their differences amount to less than one/tenth of one percent. But that one issue has both sides digging in.

Local lawmakers are still hoping for a Saturday adjournment, but few are predicting it.

"Oh, it's highly unlikely," said Delegate Sam Rasoul (D) Roanoke. "I don't foresee that happening in the near future. It's rather unfortunate."

Delegate Charles Poindexter (R) Franklin County was more optimistic. "Since I've been here I think we've only been late one or two days," Poindexter said Wednesday afternoon. "I'd like that record to continue."