House Republicans could vote on the debt ceiling increase as soon as Friday, but the government shutdown will continue in the meantime in the hopes that Democrats will feel pressure to compromise.
“What we want to do is offer the president today the ability to move,” Boehner said. He noted the offer would be “a temporary increase in the debt ceiling, an agreement to go to conference on the budget, for his willingness to sit down and talk with us a way forward to open the government.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney didn’t reveal if Obama would sign a short-term debt limit increase even though the president suggested he would earlier this week. “We’ll see what the House Republicans propose, we’ll see what they’re able to pass,” Carney said.
Many Republicans are calling on Obama to negotiate a deal on a yearlong debt ceiling increase and come to terms for a stopgap spending measure that would reopen the government.
“We would get a commitment from the president, a concession, to sit down and talk with us, to negotiate before we go to a yearlong debt ceiling increase,” said Louisiana Rep. John Fleming. “There won’t be a vote on a temporary extension of the debt limit unless the president agrees this afternoon to sit down and talk with us.”
North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows is in favor of the new strategy. “Really, what this is all about is negotiating and finding common ground,” he said. “This looks like a window to be able to do that, and I’m supportive.”
Most economists agree that violating the debt limit -- which could potentially happen next week if the two parties don’t reach an agreement -- would have dire consequences for the economy.