Senate Republicans left a 90-minute White House meeting on Friday feeling it was a good discussion -- but still with no deal to end the budget stalemate.
President Barack Obama has been meeting with Republican leadership since Thursday, first with the House and then the Senate GOP, to try and put together a compromise that would end the government shutdown and increase the debt limit. The shutdown has been going on for 11 days, and a debt ceiling increase is needed by Oct. 17 so that the U.S. doesn’t risk a default.
Senate Republicans have proposed funding the government and raising the debt limit for a period of roughly 90 days. In the other chamber, Republicans are considering a six-week debt limit hike so that the government can borrow money to pay its bills, but they also want to get cuts to popular Democratic-backed programs. House Republicans are also said to be thinking of passing a bill to let the hundreds of thousands of federal workers return to work if there is agreement from the White House on negotiating 2014 budget issues.
Despite the progress, Republicans left the White House meeting with mixed reactions.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who’s leading the Senate Republican effort, told Politico that “there is a willingness on the part of the administration to engage and turn negotiations into a long-term plan.” Likewise, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee told the same publication that they are on the way to taking care of the problem, but exactly what the legislation would look like is still uncertain.
Others, including Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, were negative. “For weeks I have been asking the president to meet with Senate Republicans, and I am pleased that he did so today,” Cornyn said in a statement. But he tweeted this:
My thoughts on WH mtg: Could have been a productive conversation; instead was a predictable lecture from POTUS... http://t.co/fPqe23NtL7
— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) October 11, 2013
Cornyn said Senate Republicans will now return to Capitol Hill and continue discussions on plans to cut spending and reopen the government.