A meeting Thursday afternoon between President Barack Obama and senior House Republicans did not yield an agreement over the GOP’s proposed short-term debt limit hike. But both sides said they would continue discussions, even though the exact nature of the lingering disputes wasn’t immediately clear.
The proposal, unveiled Thursday morning, would lift the debt ceiling for six weeks, without policy add-ons, in exchange for a commitment from Obama to negotiate a longer-term solution. The plan would not reopen the shuttered government, which the White House has publicly said must happen before any budget negotiations.
In a readout of the meeting, the White House said “no specific determination was made” but that the president “looks forward to making continued progress with members.”
“The President had a good meeting with members of the House Republican Leadership this evening; the meeting lasted approximately an hour and a half. The President, along with the Vice President, Treasury Secretary Lew, Denis McDonough and Rob Nabors listened to the Republicans present their proposal,” the White House said. “After a discussion about potential paths forward, no specific determination was made. The President looks forward to making continued progress with members on both sides of the aisle. 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.”
A House Republican leadership aide said it was a “useful conversation” with no definitive conclusion. “The President did not say yes or no to House Republicans’ offer,” the aide said. “Both sides are continuing the discussion tonight.”
The Republicans said in a collective statement after the meeting, “No final decisions were made; however, it was a useful and productive conversation. The President and leaders agreed that communication should continue throughout the night.”
The debt limit deadline is Oct. 17. The GOP’s proposal would extend it to Nov. 22.