Will There Be a Debt-Ceiling Deal? Obama and House GOP Are Going to Keep Talking.

What you need to know from a busy day of debt-ceiling and shutdown news.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) leaves the U.S. Capitol for a meeting with House Republican leaders and U.S. President Barack Obama October 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. 
National Journal
National Journal Staff
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National Journal Staff
Oct. 10, 2013, 8:08 a.m.

A week away from hit­ting the debt-ceil­ing, Con­gress is mak­ing moves. But late in­to Thursday, the big news is all of the talk­ing.

After a day of op­tim­ism, it’s sud­denly look­ing like the White House isn’t ready to em­brace a House GOP debt-ceil­ing plan. But White House-House GOP talks are set to go well in­to the night, with Re­pub­lic­an and Demo­crat­ic sen­at­ors hold­ing talks of their own.

House Speak­er John Boehner this morn­ing said his caucus is ready­ing a short-term plan to lift the debt-ceil­ing for six weeks, with no strings at­tached. House lead­er­ship hopes that they’ll be able to use that win­dow to open up ne­go­ti­ations with the White House on a long-term budget deal.

The plan might not be so easy to ex­ecute. House Re­pub­lic­ans are cur­rently split on a clean debt-lim­it in­crease, even in the short term. And Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans in a hear­ing with Treas­ury Sec­ret­ary Jack Lew this morn­ing em­phas­ized their de­sire to tackle en­ti­tle­ment re­form along with an in­crease.

The Sen­ate, mean­while, is push­ing ahead with Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id’s plan to ex­tend the lim­it un­til Decem­ber 31, 2014, with an ex­pec­ted vote this week­end. After a meet­ing at the White House, Re­id said that broad­er budget ne­gota­tions aren’t go­ing to hap­pen as long as the gov­ern­ment is shut­down.

Most im­port­antly, after an hour-plus meet­ing with House Re­pub­lic­ans, the New York Times is re­por­ted that Pres­id­ent Obama is not ac­cept­ing the House GOP six-week ex­ten­sion, al­though it now sounds like they are walk­ing back that re­port some. The White House still is call­ing the meet­ing with House GOP lead­ers “good,” and all parties an­ti­cip­ate work­ing through the night.

All of this while a new NBC poll out shows that the shut­down and debt-ceil­ing de­bate have severely hurt the GOP, and brought ser­i­ous pess­ism across the coun­try.

Thursday is go­ing strong. We have your up­dates here.

UP­DATE (7:20 p.m.): Could the Gov­ern­ment Re­open by Monday?

That’s what one GOP mem­ber of Con­gress is say­ing Thursday night:

BREAK­ING: @RepLyn­nJen­kins just told Larry that House lead­ers hope to have the gov­ern­ment opened by Monday

— The Kud­low Re­port (@TheKud­lowRe­port) Oc­to­ber 10, 2013

UP­DATE: (7:09 p.m.) Speak­er Boehner Has Left the Cap­it­ol

Photo evid­ence. Des­tin­a­tion un­known, and we still aren’t quite sure what else to ex­pect from the even­ing.

UP­DATE (6:46 p.m.): House Rules Com­mit­tee Meet­ing Can­celed?

Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., told Na­tion­al Journ­al that this even­ing’s Rules Com­mit­tee meet­ing has been can­celled.

“I was ex­pect­ing a Rules Com­mit­tee meet­ing to­night, but now I’m told there won’t be a Rules Com­mit­tee meet­ing to­night,” said Woodall. “So maybe that tells you about what went on over there.”

Woodall, who did not at­tend the White House meet­ing, was quick to note that his spec­u­la­tion was “con­jec­ture” un­til he learns of what happened in the ses­sion. (By Tim Al­berta)

UP­DATE (6:39 p.m.): The White House Calls GOP Meet­ing “Good”

Sounds like the New York Times may’ve been a little hy­per­bol­ic. While the White House isn’t fully em­bra­cing the House plan, they’re call­ing talks over­all pos­it­ive. Here’s the full White House state­ment:

“The Pres­id­ent had a good meet­ing with mem­bers of the House Re­pub­lic­an Lead­er­ship this even­ing; the meet­ing las­ted ap­prox­im­ately an hour and a half. The Pres­id­ent, along with the Vice Pres­id­ent, Treas­ury Sec­ret­ary Lew, Denis Mc­Donough and Rob Nabors listened to the Re­pub­lic­ans present their pro­pos­al. After a dis­cus­sion about po­ten­tial paths for­ward, no spe­cif­ic de­term­in­a­tion was made. The Pres­id­ent looks for­ward to mak­ing con­tin­ued pro­gress with mem­bers on both sides of the aisle. The Pres­id­ent’s goal re­mains to en­sure we pay the bills we’ve in­curred, re­open the gov­ern­ment and get back to the busi­ness of grow­ing the eco­nomy, cre­at­ing jobs and strength­en­ing the middle class.”

UP­DATE: (6:35 p.m.): Paul Ry­an Speaks

House Budget Com­mit­tee Chair­man Paul Ry­an, R-Wis., says ne­go­ti­ations are to con­tin­ue Thursday night between House Re­pub­lic­ans and Pres­id­ent Obama.

“We’re go­ing to keep talk­ing to­night,” said Ry­an, as he left Speak­er John Boehner’s of­fice.

“We made an of­fer, we’re ne­go­ti­at­ing the rest, we de­cided to keep talk­ing,” said Ry­an.

When asked what re­mains to be dis­cussed ““ and wheth­er it is an ad­min­is­tra­tion de­mand that a spend­ing bill be passed to re­open gov­ern­ment, Ry­an would not say.

“We’ve de­cided to con­tin­ue talk­ing, and con­tin­ue ne­go­ti­at­ing,” re­it­er­ated Ry­an. (By Billy House)

UP­DATE: (6:30 p.m.): The Scene on the Hill After the Re­jec­tion

The del­eg­a­tion of nearly two-dozen House Re­pub­lic­ans marched stoic­ally in­to the Cap­it­ol foy­er, largely ig­nor­ing a horde of re­port­ers ask­ing for their re­ac­tion to the meet­ing with Obama.

“We had a very use­ful meet­ing, and we’re go­ing to have more dis­cus­sions on both sides to­night,” House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor said, walk­ing hur­riedly to­ward his of­fice.

Sev­er­al oth­er Re­pub­lic­an law­makers, in­clud­ing Rep. Paul Ry­an of Wis­con­sin, ig­nored the me­dia throng and marched straight to­ward the lead­er­ship of­fices without giv­ing any hint of a fa­cial ex­pres­sion.

Rep. Steve Scal­ise, chair­man of the Re­pub­lic­an Study Com­mit­tee, nor­mally quick to en­gage with the me­dia, was re­luct­ant to give any com­ment. Pressed for his re­ac­tion to the meet­ing, he fi­nally al­lowed, “It was a use­ful con­ver­sa­tion, and there’s a lot more to dis­cuss.”

Then he, along with some col­leagues, dis­ap­peared down a hall­way to­ward the Speak­er’s of­fice. (By Tim Al­berta)

UP­DATE (6:15 p.m.): Obama Re­jects House GOP Debt-Ceil­ing Deal

Well now. The New York Times is re­port­ing that the pres­id­ent, after meet­ing with House Re­pub­lic­ans, is re­ject­ing the six-week ex­ten­sion of the debt-ceil­ing. We’ll have more when it comes in.

UP­DATE (6:01 p.m.): The Speak­er Has Left the Build­ing

Speak­er Boehner and oth­er mem­bers of the House GOP left the White House around 6:00 p.m. No one spoke to any re­port­ers. The quick exit is re­l­at­ively un­usu­al for the speak­er.

In oth­er news, Na­tion­al Re­view‘s Robert Costa re­ports that a six-week debt-lim­it ex­ten­sion is now likely to pass the House.

UP­DATE (4:57 p.m.): The House GOP-Obama Sum­mit Be­gins

Per the White House pool, the White House meet­ing between the pres­id­ent and House Re­pub­lic­ans has be­gun.

UP­DATE (3:53 p.m.): Harry Re­id: Ne­go­ti­ations Aren’t Go­ing to Hap­pen

Emer­ging from an al­most-two hour meet­ing between the pres­id­ent and Demo­crat­ic sen­at­ors, Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id had a very suc­cinct an­swer when asked if there would be ne­go­ti­ations with Re­pub­lic­ans as long as long as the gov­ern­ment shut­down con­tin­ues — “Not go­ing to hap­pen.”

Re­id was flanked by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Charles Schu­mer of New York and Patty Mur­ray as he talked to re­port­ers out­side the West Wing. “The gov­ern­ment should be open…. If that hap­pens, we’ll ne­go­ti­ate on any­thing,” said Re­id.

Asked to re­spond to a House Re­pub­lic­an pro­pos­al for a short-term rais­ing of the debt lim­it, Re­id mocked what he called the House’s “unique form of le­gis­lat­ing — It is hour by hour..”

He said he would have to “wait and see what the House does.” But he left no doubt there will be no ne­go­ti­ations un­der the threat of a con­tin­ued shut­down. (By George Con­don)

UP­DATE (3:51 p.m.): The House GOP Bill’s Com­ing Out Party

The of­fi­cial de­but of the House GOP’s six-month debt-ceil­ing ex­tender bill — ar­rival at the Rules Com­mit­tee — is now pushed to 7 p.m., or later. “7-ish,” ac­cord­ing to one aide.

That’s im­port­ant be­cause Demo­crats in both the House and Sen­ate re­main skep­tic­al about how “clean” or un­tied to ex­traneous Re­pub­lic­an policy de­mands it really might be.

Word that the plan would also in­clude lan­guage to per­man­ently ban the Treas­ury De­part­ment from us­ing ex­traordin­ary meas­ures to avoid de­fault is already caus­ing con­cern by Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal­if., and oth­ers. They ques­tion the wis­dom of do­ing that, be­fore un­der­stand­ing what the full rami­fic­a­tions might be. (By Billy House)

UP­DATE (3:38 p.m.): The White House Meet­ing With Sen­ate Dems Has Ended

About an hour and a half after it began, the White House pool re­ports that Obama’s meet­ing with Sen­ate Demo­crats has ended. The pres­id­ent is sched­uled to meet with House Re­pub­lic­ans at 4:35 p.m.

UP­DATE (2:35 p.m.): Her­it­age Won’t Block Boehner’s Debt Ceil­ing Plan

Her­it­age Ac­tion says it does not sup­port Boehner’s plan for a clean, short-term in­crease to the debt ceil­ing, but the con­ser­vat­ive group said it would not work to block the pro­pos­al either:

“We do not sup­port clean debt ceil­ing in­creases, but be­cause Her­it­age Ac­tion is com­mit­ted to giv­ing House Lead­er­ship the flex­ib­il­ity they need to re­fo­cus the de­bate on Obama­care we will not key vote against the re­por­ted pro­pos­al,” chief ex­ec­ut­ive of­ficer Mi­chael A. Need­ham said in a state­ment.

If Her­it­age were to “key vote” the pro­pos­al, it would es­sen­tially be in­sist­ing mem­bers vote against it or lose stand­ing with the in­flu­en­tial con­ser­vat­ive group. By keep­ing the “key vote” sys­tem out of the de­bate, Her­it­age is al­low­ing in­di­vidu­al mem­bers flex­ib­il­ity to vote either way on the pro­pos­al without risk­ing sig­ni­fic­ant back­lash from Her­it­age-aligned con­ser­vat­ives. (By Patrick Re­is)

UP­DATE (2:00 p.m.): The White House Meet­ings Be­gin

Sen­ate Demo­crats are cur­rently meet­ing with Pres­id­ent Obama, ac­cord­ing to the White House pool. We’ll see how this goes.

UP­DATE (1:46 p.m.): Will the White House Ne­go­ti­ate with Con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans?

Jay Car­ney’s latest an­swer: “Let’s see if they’re ser­i­ous about put­ting the matches and gas­ol­ine aside.”

UP­DATE (1:40 p.m.): Free Money!

So, here’s something weird. There ap­pears to be a ton of cash on the floors of the Sen­ate’s Hart build­ing:

Uh… so someone dropped a ton of money on the floor in the Sen­ate Hart build­ing pic.twit­ter.com/gS1X­tR6h7M

— Charlie Spier­ing (@charlies­pier­ing) Oc­to­ber 10, 2013

Cap­it­ol po­lice now sweep­ing up all the money pic.twit­ter.com/dxlQ8uF­d­cF

— Charlie Spier­ing (@charlies­pier­ing) Oc­to­ber 10, 2013

Ap­par­ently, the money was part of a stunt from an anti-Monsanto protest group. Three people have re­portedly been ar­res­ted. As if things couldn’t get stranger this month.

From the same Wash­ing­ton Ex­am­iner re­port­er, here’s video of po­lice shov­ing cash in­to evid­ence bags:

UP­DATE (1:15 p.m.): Scal­ise, Noem to Join Boehner’s White House En­tour­age

Boehner is mak­ing late edi­tions to the roster of Re­pub­lic­ans set to join him at the White House Thursday af­ter­noon.

Ini­tially, Boehner op­ted to des­ig­nate 18 law­makers — all of them lead­er­ship of­fi­cials and com­mit­tee chair­men — to travel to the oth­er end of Pennsylvania Av­en­ue. But since the an­nounce­ment, there were late ad­di­tions made to the Re­pub­lic­an roster.

Most not­ably, Rep. Steve Scal­ise, chair­man of the Re­pub­lic­an Study Com­mit­tee, will join the GOP en­tour­age. This is a sig­ni­fic­ant de­vel­op­ment, as RSC chair­men have rarely been in­vited to meet­ings with the pres­id­ent — re­gard­less of which party holds the White House. Scal­ise’s in­vit­a­tion demon­strates his close work­ing re­la­tion­ship with Boehner, and speaks to how heav­ily lead­er­ship has leaned on him to de­liv­er con­ser­vat­ives on tough votes this year.

An­oth­er late ad­di­tion, as re­por­ted by the Wash­ing­ton Post’s Paul Kane, is Rep. Kristin Noem of South Dakota. Noem rep­res­en­ted her fresh­man class in lead­er­ship meet­ings dur­ing the 112th Con­gress.

Cour­tesy of the Speak­er’s of­fice, here’s the list of mem­bers who will join Boehner at the White­House on Thursday:

Eric Can­tor, Kev­in Mc­Carthy, Cathy Mc­Mor­ris Rodgers, Greg Walden, James Lank­ford, Lynn Jen­kins, Vir­gin­ia Foxx, Steve South­er­land, Ann Wag­n­er, Peter Roskam, Pete Ses­sions, Paul Ry­an, Dave Camp, Fred Up­ton, Hal Ro­gers, Jeb Hensarling, Buck McK­eon, as well as late ad­di­tions Steve Scal­ise and Kristin Noem. (By Tim Al­berta)

UP­DATE (1:14 p.m.): Will Obama Sign the GOP Plan?

At the daily White House press brief­ing, Press Sec­ret­ary Jay Car­ney said that “the pres­id­ent is happy that cool­er heads at least seem to have pre­vailed in the House.” Car­ney didn’t, however, go so far as to say that Obama would sign the House GOP bill, as they’ve yet to ac­tu­ally see it.

Car­ney was ex­ceed­ingly vague about the point at which Obama would agree to budget ne­go­ti­ations. (By Matt Ber­man)

UP­DATE (12:25 p.m.): Will the GOP Deal Go Through?

Some Re­pub­lic­an mem­bers aren’t so thrilled. “I’m not very en­thu­si­ast­ic,” says Rep. Steve King. More here on what’s in the deal, and what people are say­ing about it from Tim Al­berta and Billy House.

UP­DATE (12:08 p.m.): Where the White House (Still) Stands

A White House of­fi­cial re­it­er­ated the pres­id­ent’s stance fol­low­ing Speak­er Boehner’s press state­ment this morn­ing. “The pres­id­ent has made clear that he will not pay a ransom for Con­gress do­ing its job,” the of­fi­cial said. The of­fi­cial also said that the White House would ob­vi­ously prefer an up-or-down vote in the House on Sen­at­or Re­id’s one-year debt-lim­it ex­ten­sion.

But Obama would be open to a short-term debt-ceil­ing deal, the of­fi­cial said, echo­ing earli­er state­ments Thursday from the Treas­ury sec­ret­ary. The of­fi­cial said though that, in or­der for the pres­id­ent to agree to broad­er budget ne­go­ti­ations, Con­gress would first have to pass a clean debt lim­it in­crease and a fund­ing bill to end the shut­down. (By Matt Ber­man)

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