WASHINGTON: US Senate Republicans described their White House meeting with President Barack Obama yesterday as respectful and constructive, but they said no deal was reached to raise the debt limit or end a government shutdown.
“There was talks about everything,” said Senator Dan Coats of Indiana. “That was constructive. But there was no resolution” of differences over raising the debt limit and ending the 11-day shutdown. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said Obama expressed concerns about the duration of a House Republican proposal for a short-term extension of the debt limit.
After the first signs on Thursday 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.
Republicans 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.
A handful of House Republicans appeared on morning television shows to express optimism now that talks have started with the White House.
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.