GOP Offers Short-Term Debt-Limit Increase, But Wants Negotiations Before Ending Shutdown

Source: Paul Kane, Zachary A. Goldfarb and Lori Montgomery / The Washington Post

House Republican leaders said Thursday they will offer a temporary increase in the federal debt ceiling in exchange for negotiations with President Obama on longer-term “pressing problems,” but they stopped short of agreeing to end a government shutdown now in its 10th day.

In a news briefing following a closed-door meeting of House Republicans to present a plan to raise the debt limit for six weeks, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “What we want to do is offer the president today the ability to move a temporary increase in the debt ceiling.” He described the offer, to be presented to Obama in a White House meeting with House Republicans on Thursday afternoon, as a “good-faith effort on our part to move halfway to what he’s demanded in order to have these conversations begin.”

Boehner did not immediately provide specifics of the plan. But the speaker made clear that House Republicans are not agreeing to Obama’s demand that they pass legislation to fund the government with no partisan string attached, thereby ending the first government shutdown in 17 years.

Asked about the shutdown, Boehner said, “That’s a conversation we’re going to have with the president today.”

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