Boehner Proposes Deal On Debt Ceiling, More Talk On Shutdown
House Speaker John Boehner says he and fellow Republicans are willing to compromise and pass a temporary extension in the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling in exchange for substantive negotiations on other fiscal matters. But their proposed would leave the ongoing government shutdown in place.
"What we want to do is offer the president today the opportunity to move this along," Boehner said, adding that he hoped the White House would accept a "good faith effort to move half-way to what [the president] wants."
The deal reportedly involves agreeing to a six-week extension that, if adopted, would take the immediate threat to financial markets away. But the deal has nothing to do with a temporary spending measure, known as a continuing resolution, that would restart the federal government, which has been partially shut down since last week.
The news conference followed a morning meeting of the House Republican caucus and preceded one between key House GOP lawmakers and President Obama at the White House.
The White House and Democrats had wanted a "clean" resolution to restore funding to government operation and raise the debt ceiling, but a substantial bloc of conservative Republicans in the House have insisted that such a temporary spending measure be tied to defunding and/or delaying the Affordable Care Act.
Asked what it would take for Republicans to end the government shutdown, Boehner said "that's why we're going to talk to the president."
"I don't want to put anything on the table or take anything off the table," he said.
In testimony earlier Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned of catastrophic consequences if the debt ceiling isn't raised and the U.S. is unable to pay its bills on time.