Obama to seek opening with Republicans on shutdown
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is hosting top House Republicans to seek an opening in an impasse that has shut down much of the government and threatens a catastrophic federal default.
The White House meeting, set for Thursday, comes as House Republican leaders are contemplating advancing a short-term debt limit increase designed to calm financial markets and allow more time to resolve the partial government shutdown that entered its 10th day and facing a first-ever default between Oct 17 and the end of the month.
A short-term debt limit measure was expected to be a topic at a closed-door House Republican meeting Thursday morning. It wasn't clear what conditions party leaders might seek to attach to the bill, if any, but conservatives consistently have been pushing top Republicans like Speaker John Boehner to add conditions beyond what Obama says he'll accept.
Also, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew was heading to Capitol Hill to both give and get a public scolding. Lew's appearance before the Senate Finance Committee promised to be yet another public restatement of the administration's stance that Congress needs to reopen the government and lift the United States borrowing cap before Obama will negotiate over the nation's budget ills.