Government Shutdown Talks, “Hit A Brick Wall”
Boehner relayed the news to his Republican caucus during a Saturday morning meeting after a night of work where little progress was made. Republican Rep. Paul Labrador of Idaho emerged from the meeting, telling CNN that “the President rejected our deal.”
The standstill has decreased the possibility that the House would vote to reopen the government this weekend and while leadership would remain in Washington to work on a proposal, rank-and-file members might return to their districts until Monday afternoon.
The proposal from House Republicans is to increase the federal borrowing limit for about six weeks to avoid a potentially harmful default as soon as October 17, when the Obama administration says the government will run out of money to pay its bills.
But the lack of a mechanism to immediately reopen the government — which has been partially shut down since October 1, prompting the furlough of hundreds of thousands of workers, the closing of national parks and an increase in public anger — could turn off some Democrats.
Even some Republicans in the Senate want to see a deal that addresses the government shutdown. Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said the President is waiting for a better offer.
“It doesn’t seem like the White House is serious at all about entering negotiations with us until they see what the comes out of the Senate. If they get something out of the Senate that’s weaker than our negotiated position it obviously strengthens their position,” Kinzinger said.
The standstill comes after a Friday afternoon phone call between Boehner and Obama where they decided to “all keep talking.”
Conversations on Friday did, however, yield some points of agreement among lawmakers, including on altering Obama’s signature health care reforms and raising revenue to prevent forced cuts in government spending.
At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney repeated Obama’s position Friday afternoon that the partial shutdown must end before budget talks aimed to address the debt begin.
However, he didn’t close the door completely on the House GOP plan, saying Obama would sign a temporary debt ceiling increase “as a bare minimum” as long as Republicans didn’t attach partisan policy issues to it.
Republicans like Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois say a temporary debt ceiling hike will allow all parties to “concentrate on the continuing resolution.” His chamber could vote on the measure as soon as this weekend.