"We're going to offer legislation that will offer a temporary increase in the debt ceiling," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), the No. 4 House Republican. "That will allow us some time to continue this conversation."
The more moderate House Republicans are baffled by the idea of sustaining the unpopular shutdown while temporarily extending the debt limit. But they're likely to contain their frustrations, yet again, and support leadership's latest move. Conservative members appeared uneasy with the plan but several of them voiced support for it.
President Barack Obama supports a longer debt limit extension but is open to a short-term hike as long as it doesn't have policy add-ons, and wants the government re-opened.
"While we are willing to look at any proposal Congress puts forward to end these manufactured crises, we will not allow a faction of the Republicans in the House to hold the economy hostage to its extraneous and extreme political demands," a White House official said. "Congress needs to pass a clean debt limit increase and a funding bill to reopen the government."
House Democrats aren't opposing Boehner's short-term debt limit plan just yet. One senior aide said they're waiting to read the text of the bill. If Democrats supply a substantial number of votes, the legislation is much likelier to succeed.
Boehner demurred when asked about how he wants to deal with reopening the government.
"That's a conversation we're going to have with the president today," he said, referring to an upcoming meeting Thursday at the White House that involves senior House Republicans. I don't want to put anything on the table, I don't want to take anything off the table."