December 10, 2013
Obama, Republicans struggle to break fiscal deadlock
President Barack Obama and congressional Republican leaders moved to end their fiscal impasse today, but struggled to strike a deal on the details for a short-term reopening of the federal government and an increase in the US borrowing limit.
After the first signs yesterday of movement in the standoff, both sides worked furiously to find enough agreement to get federal workers back on the job and extend the government's borrowing authority past the October 17 limit.
About 20 House of Representatives Republicans huddled with Majority Leader Eric Cantor today, a day after Republicans floated a plan that would provide for a short-term debt limit increase lasting about six weeks.
Republicans also have dangled the possibility of a quick reopening of government if there was a commitment by Obama to broader deficit reduction steps. Obama had asked for a short-term debt limit increase with no conditions attached.
Obama will press his case in a morning meeting at the White House with Senate Republicans. Vice President Joe Biden will join Obama for the session as the two sides hunt for a quick resolution.
A handful of House Republicans appeared on morning television shows to express optimism now that talks have started with the White House.
"We've been very good about this, the White House has been great about it overnight to say let's stay out of all the details as we talk through all the different options," Oklahoma Republican Representative James Lankford said on CNN.
California Republican Representative Howard McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said the White House and Republicans agreed to focus on moving forward.
"There's no sense dwelling on the past. Mistakes have been made. But at least now we're talking, and it's time to move forward. It's best for the American people," McKeon said on MSNBC.