House GOP leaders, Obama huddle at White House: More talks tonight
October 10, 2013 10:47AM
Republican aides say Speaker John Boehner will ask fellow Republicans in the chamber to approve a short-term extension of the government’s ability to borrow to meet its bills. | AP file photo authority next week.
Updated: October 10, 2013 7:07PM
WASHINGTON–President Barack Obama is “happy” that GOP leaders recognize “default is not an option,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday,
That represented a bit more upbeat assessment than earlier on Thursday when the Obama White House gave a chilly reception to House GOP leaders plan to lift the debt ceiling before the Oct. 17 deadline for six weeks-but keep the partial federal government shutdown going. House leaders, including Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) meet with President Barack Obama at the White House this afternoon.
“The president is happy that cooler heads at least seem to be prevailing in the House, that there at least seems to be a recognition that default is not an option,” Carney said.
“Now, the president believes that it would be far better for the Congress and, in this case, the House to raise the debt ceiling for an extended period of time as Senate Democrats are working on as we speak. You know, it would be far better for the economy if we stopped this episodic brinksmanship and, you know, sort of mothball the so- called nuclear weapon here, which is the threat of default, for a longer duration.
After a meeting with GOP House members, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at a press conference, “You know, the president is fond of saying that no one gets everything they want in a — in a negotiation. And frankly, I agree with that. Nobody gets everything they want.”
Boehner described the offer as a temporary increase in the debt ceiling coupled with an “agreement” to restart negotiations on budget issues.
The difficulty for the White House will be that Obama will have little choice but to sign a measure to avert the first-ever default in U.S. history.
“Listen, it’s time for leadership,” Boehner said. “It’s time for these negotiations and this conversation to begin. And I would hope that the president will look at this as an opportunity and a good faith effort on our part to move halfway, halfway to what he demanded, in order to have these conversations begin.”
House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said at the same press conference, “You know, the American people expect both sides to sit down and work out their differences when you’re operating in divided government.”
A White House official in reaction to the proposal said, “The President has made clear that he will not pay a ransom for Congress doing its job and paying our bills. It is better for economic certainty for Congress to take the threat of default off the table for as long as possible, which is why we support the Senate Democrats’ efforts to raise the debt limit for a year with no extraneous political strings attached.
“The President also believes that the Republican Leadership in the House should allow for an up or down vote on the clean continuing resolution passed by the Senate that would pass with a bipartisan majority to reopen the government. Once Republicans in Congress act to remove the threat of default and end this harmful government shutdown, the President will be willing to negotiate on a broader budget agreement to create jobs, grow the economy, and put our fiscal house in order. While we are willing to look at any proposal Congress puts forward to end these manufactured crises, we will not allow a faction of the Republicans in the House to hold the economy hostage to its extraneous and extreme political demands. Congress needs to pass a clean debt limit increase and a funding bill to reopen the government.”