President Obama met with House GOP leaders to discuss a new plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling. There are reports that the president rejected the proposal, but the White House says no specific determination was made and a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner called the conversation "useful." Michael Scotto has the story.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With the threat of default beginning to scare Washington lawmakers, House Republicans unveiled a plan that would lift the debt ceiling for six weeks, but not reopen the government.
"I would hope that the President would look at this as an opportunity and a good faith effort on our part to move halfway, halfway to what he's demanded, in order to have the conversations begin," said House Speaker John Boehner.
The proposal, unveiled to rank-and-file Republicans during a closed door meeting, wouldn't touch the Affordable Care Act. But it would demand the President come to the bargaining table to hash out a long-term budget deal. White House officials didn't dismiss the plan, but they did reiterate that the President won't negotiate until the shutdown comes to an end.
"If the Republicans think, if the Tea Party that is driving decision making up there thinks, that they can extract concessions by punishing the American people and the American economy, the answer is no," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
But Republicans are hoping the threat of default will push the President to give in. Under the Republican plan, the debt ceiling would be extended until November 22nd, right before Thanksgiving, a timeline the GOP thinks would put pressure on all sides to reach an agreement on entitlement and tax reform.
Though many Republicans appear to be on board with the plan, there are some divisions.
"I'm concerned if we get into this stop gap type of measure, we're not focusing our energy on what we should be focusing on, the bigger issues," said Representative Tom Reed.
Rank and file Democrats think leaving the government closed for business is a terrible idea.
"This is going to continue to have real negative impact on our constituents and people need to refocus this from a political battle to how we help our constituents," said Representative Bill Owens.
For now, the standoff continues, but with a glimmer of hope that an end could be in sight.