Obama, House Republicans to Meet Amid Talk of Deal

Republican leaders will bring a plan that could avert default.

President Barack Obama sits with Speaker of the House John Boehner during a meeting with congressional leaders in the White House on Nov. 16, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
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House Republicans will finally get their shot to talk with President Barack Obama and discuss the way out of the country's fiscal impasse Thursday.

[READ: Some Republicans Don't Believe in Debt Ceiling]

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has been asking Obama to sit down and negotiate since the government shut down 10 days ago, but while the president invited the full Republican House to meet with him at the White House, Boehner declined and will instead bring his leadership delegation of 18.

House GOP members remain divided, with some calling for quick passage of a bill to fund the government and others continuing to demand concessions.

The pressure to reopen the government is intensifying as thousands of workers continue to be furloughed, some nutrition programs have run out of funding and national monuments and parks remain closed.

The looming question of whether the country will pay its bills on time is also weighing on the minds of those in Washington.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has told Congress the country will run out of money on Oct. 17 unless the debt ceiling is raised. Market analysts and economists have described a default as "catastrophic."

But Republicans again, aren't united on whether that deadline poses a significant threat to the country's markets.

The White House meeting comes as Republicans in the House have begun consideration of a six-week plan that would increase the debt ceiling while keeping the government shut down, according to numerous press reports The latest plan was introduced to members Thursday during their caucus meeting and could give Republicans a little more time to get policy concessions from the White House without the threat of default hanging on the horizon.

[ALSO: Obama Doesn't Budge on Shutdown, Debt Ceiling Negotiations]

In an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., signaled many House Republicans were walking away from their commitment to stop Obamacare through the latest round of fiscal showdowns and instead were interested in seeing government spending cuts.

Instead, Ryan called for a plan to reform the country's Medicare program and allow Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., to roll out their plans for comprehensive tax reform, which they have been chipping away on for more than a year now.

"This is our moment to get a down payment on the debt and boost the economy. But we have to act now," Ryan said in his op-ed.

 

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