Obama meets with Senate Republicans

President Obama met Friday with Senate Republicans as their House GOP counterparts discussed a short-term increase in the debt ceiling that would head off an historic government default.

Obama and the Republican senators also planned to discuss ways to end the government shutdown, now in its 11th day.

The Senate meeting came the morning after Obama sat down for 90 minutes with House Republican leaders, and authorized further staff talks about a deal based on a temporary hike in the nation's $16.7 trillion debt ceiling. Republicans said Obama asked them to include in the package funding to reopen the government.

Prior to leaving for the White House, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Tex., said, "Members on both sides of the aisle here in Congress are discussing solutions and those discussions will continue when we return from the White House."

If Congress does not increase the debt ceiling by Thursday, the government will lose authority to borrow money to pay its bills and would have to default on some of them.

A plan offered by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would extend borrowing authority until Nov. 22, while Republicans and the White House negotiate a new spending plan to end the shutdown.

After Obama's meeting with Boehner and other House GOP members, a White House statement said that "no specific determination was made" on a path forward.

"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 statement said.


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