(WASHINGTON) — President Obama and House Republican leaders both called meetings at the White House productive Thursday and pledged to continue talking through the night.
It is a positive development in negotiations between the two parties over how to end the government shutdown, which has so far lasted 10 days, and whether to raise the country’s debt limit before the Oct. 17 deadline.
Republicans presented to Obama and his top advisors a plan that would raise the debt ceiling for six weeks, giving lawmakers more time to hammer out a broader budget deal without the threat of default. But it would not do anything to address the government shutdown.
A top GOP aide said that the president neither accepted nor rejected the Republicans’ offer. And the White House said that no determination was made about the path forward.
The 20 Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, left the White House without speaking to reporters. But upon returning to the Capitol, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the talks were “very useful” and that there would continue to be staff-level talks though the night.
“It was clarifying, I think, for both sides as to where we are, and the takeaway from the meeting was our teams are going to be talking further tonight,” Cantor said. “We’ll have more discussion. We’ll come back to have more discussion. The president said he would go consult with the administration folks and, hopefully, we can see a way forward after that.”
In a statement, the White House said that Obama looks forward to “continued progress” with members on both sides of the aisle.
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