‘The President Didn’t Say Yes, Didn’t Say No’

by Jonathan Strong

A group of key House Republicans came out of a meeting with President Obama, Vice President Biden and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew saying aides to both parties would begin negotiations this evening over a CR to end the government shutdown.

“The president didn’t say yes, didn’t say no. We’re continuing to negotiate this evening,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan told reporters.

Speaker John Boehner presented Obama the plan he announced to the conference this morning for a short-term debt ceiling increase to allow time for budget negotiations.

But Obama and White House officials objected over the need to first pass a bill to open the government.

“I think it’s clear that he would like to have the shut down stopped, and that would require a CR. And we’re trying to find out what he would insist upon in a CR and what we would insist upon in a CR,” said Hal Rogers, chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Leadership and appropriations committee staffers will begin the talks this evening, but it’s unclear whether the talks, over the continuing resolution, will include negotiations over reforms to Obamacare.

The health care law was not discussed “in any substantive way. It was mentioned a couple of times,” Rogers said.

White House chief of staff Dennis McDonough and legislative liaiason Rob Nabors were also present. 20 Republican lawmakers attended, who traveled to the White House and back in a bus.

Four or five Republicans spoke up in the meeting, Rogers said.  

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