With lawmakers at loggerheads over avoiding a government shutdown, President Barack Obama on Friday had no desire to weigh in on the impasse.
After an Oval Office meeting with India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Obama ignored questions shouted by reporters about the prospect of a government shutdown.
Washington leaders face an Oct. 1 deadline to keep the government funded and have shown little, if any, progress towards a compromise thus far.
As Obama hailed a U.N. agreement over Syria's chemical weapons, the Senate on Friday voted to advance a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown. The Democratic-led upper chamber is expected to send a bill back to the House that would wipe out GOP efforts to defund Obamacare.
In recent days, the White House has used increasingly combative language to describe the negotiating tactics of Obama’s Republican rivals.
In a health care speech Thursday, the president even accused some in the GOP of calling the Affordable Care Act "worse than the law that let slave owners get their runaway slaves back."
And Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer also likened Republican lawmakers to suicide bombers.
As Republicans huddle over a potential path forward, Obama continues to insist that he will not negotiate around raising the debt ceiling. In addition to the government-shutdown drama, leaders face an Oct. 17 deadline to increase the nation’s borrowing limit.
The White House is banking that Obama will appear principled while the GOP comes off as a group of obstructionists if no deal is reached.
“Right now, the hard work we've put in to get our economy back on track is at risk,” Obama said in an e-mail to supporters Friday. "And there's only one reason for it: A group of far-right Republicans in Congress is obsessed with making an ideological point.”