On Day 10 of the federal government shutdown, House Republicans met with President Obama at the White House to discuss a plan that could postpone a possible budget default for several weeks.
House Speaker John Boehner left the meeting without speaking to reporters.
But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor offered these words.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER ERIC CANTOR, SAYING:
"We had a very useful meeting. It was clarifying for both sides as to where we are. Our take-away from the meeting was our teams are going to be talking later tonight."
The White House has repeatedly stated that Congress must first re-open the government before budget talks can begin.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, HARRY REID, SAYING:
"The government should be open, now. We should be able to pay our debts. And as we've said and will continue to say, we, if that happens, will negotiate on anything. Anything. And the president confirmed that today."
But Republicans want to negotiate the debt increase BEFORE the government is re-opened.
Earlier this morning, Boehner had this to say:
"So what we want to do is to offer the President today the ability to move, a temporary increase in the debt ceiling in agreement to go to conference on the budget for his willingness to sit down and discuss with us a way forward to reopen the government and to start to deal with Americans pressing problems."
The debt clock is ticking. In a matter of days, the U. S. may default on its bills. If congress does not raise the debt ceiling.