Senate Republicans and Obama to discuss fiscal issues on Friday

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama will meet Senate Republicans on Friday at 11:15am EDT to discuss how to end the US government shutdown and a looming deadline to raise the nation's debt limit, a Republican spokesman said.

"That's a good start, but only if it means he's decided to drop his refusal to negotiate on solutions," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.

"But if this is a meeting where he simply reiterates that he won't negotiate, this meeting will not be productive," Mr McConnell said.

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