Press Trust of India
Washington, 11 October: US President Barack Obama and Republican leaders reached no specific decision on how to end the partial government shutdown after a meeting at the White House following a move to increase the nation’s debt ceiling by six weeks.
The White House, however, described the meeting as good and said Obama looked forward to progress. Mr Obama met 20 House Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner, in the White House yesterday.
“After a discussion about potential paths forward, no specific determination was made. 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,” the White House said after the meeting which lasted approximately for an hour and half.
Earlier in the day, the White House said Mr Obama is ready to sign a Bill approving a short-term debt ceiling, even without an agreement to government shutdown.
“The President is happy that cooler heads at least seem to be prevailing in the House, that there at least seems to be a recognition that default is not an option,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the Republican move to increase debt ceiling by six weeks.
Following the meeting, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that they had a “very useful” meeting with Mr Obama and that they will continue to discuss the issue of debt ceiling and the government shutdown, which is now into its second week.
“We had a very useful meeting. It was clarifying I think for both sides as to where we are and the takeaway from the meeting was, our teams are going to be talking further tonight, we’ll have more discussion, we’ll come back to have more discussion,” Mr Cantor said.
“The President said that he would go and consult with the administration folks and hopefully we can see a way forward after that,” the House Majority Leader said.
According to a Congressional aid, Mr Obama neither said yes nor no to their proposal of a six week debt ceiling hike. Congressman, Dave Camp, one of 20 Republicans attending the White House meeting, also called the meeting “constructive”.