The White House on Thursday said no decision had been made on a possible budget and debt ceiling deal after a meeting between President Obama and House Republicans.
“After a discussion about potential paths forward, no specific determination was made,” the White House said following a roughly 90-minute meeting between the president and House GOP leaders. “The president looks forward to making continued progress with members on both sides of the aisle.”
During the Thursday talks, Republicans presented a blueprint that would raise the debt ceiling for six weeks but not stop a government shutdown, now in its 10th day. GOP lawmakers are also pressing for negotiations for a long-term budget deal.
“No final decisions were made; however, it was a useful and productive conversation,” House Republicans said after the gathering. “The president and leaders agreed that communication should continue throughout the night.”
Such language was far more optimistic than in recent days, when Obama and his Republican rivals remained at loggerheads for how to keep the government funded and increase the nation’s borrowing limit.
“The president’s goal remains to ensure we pay the bills we’ve incurred, reopen the government and get back to the business of growing the economy, creating jobs and strengthening the middle class,” the White House said.
The White House has signaled an openness to approving a short-term debt ceiling hike, even if the government shutdown isn’t halted. The question remains just how negotiations about broader budget issues would work.
Earlier Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters that negotiations “aren’t going to happen” as long as the government shutdown continues.