After weeks of ultimatums, President Barack Obama and House Republicans are exploring whether they can end a budget standoff that has triggered a partial government shutdown and edged Washington to the verge of a historic, economy-jarring federal default.
The two sides continued discussions into the night Thursday after Obama and top administration officials met for 90 minutes with House Speaker John Boehner and other House GOP leaders at the White House. No agreement was reported and plenty of hurdles remained, but both sides cast their meeting positively as, for the first time, hopes emerged that a resolution might be attainable, even if only a temporary one.
Obama planned a late-morning White House meeting Friday with GOP senators, who said they would present options of their own for ending the shutdown and debt limit standoff.
A White House statement about Thursday's meeting with House Republicans said "no specific determination was made" but added, "The president looks forward to making continued progress with members on both sides of the aisle."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said that the meeting was "clarifying for both sides" and that following a night of negotiations, "hopefully we can see a way forward."
The talks were held shortly before a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll was released bearing ominous news for the GOP. It showed more people blaming Republicans than Obama for the shutdown, 53% to 31%. Just 24% viewed the GOP positively, compared with 39% with positive views of the Democratic Party.
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Original headline: Talks continue on debt deal
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