Washington (CNN) –- President Barack Obama acknowledged that the Republican proposal on a six week debt ceiling increase was a good thing in an hour-and-a-half meeting with House Republican leadership Thursday night, according to a Democratic source familiar with the gathering.
The meeting overall was an amicable one, featuring some of the first real dialogue between the two sides in recent weeks. The point of contention remains on Obama’s demand to reopen the government, for which Republicans still want concessions on spending, the source said.
The President continued to question the rationale for keeping the government closed. And he continued to call for the government to be funded and the debt ceiling raised in one swoop, the source said.
The GOP leaders present told the President they had a list of demands in exchange for reopening the government, which Obama said he would look at but reminded them he would not give concessions in order to end the shutdown.
House Speaker John Boehner did not outline what the specific items were, the source said. Boehner said staff was working on that.
Little appeared changed on the issue of raising the debt ceiling, with Obama signaling he was open to a six-week extension. The question remains whether Boehner would be able to get such an extension through the Republican caucus.
One of the main positives to be taken from the meeting, the source said, is the lack of enmity in readouts to the press on the meeting from both sides. Nor did Boehner seek out the cameras in front of the White House to vent afterwards, a common occurrence after other meetings.
As for what comes next, the dialogue now ongoing is happening mostly at the staff level, with White House officials hoping to determine from those discussions exactly what it is House Republicans want.
How the White House will react to Republican demands remains to be seen, with Obama firm on giving no concessions to undo the shutdown.
–CNN’s Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.
The republicans shut down the government but now don't know what they want in order to re-open the government?! They want to demand stuff but don't know what that stuff is. How is this possible?
the problem with taking hostages is, what do you do if the person you are trying to blackmail says no. If you pull the trigger and shoot the hostages, you have nothing to bargain with. If you don't pull the trigger, how long will you hold on to the hostages when Obama , excuse me, the person you are trying to blackmail continues to say no. How much damage are they willing to do to the economy for spite and how is it hurting Obama by bringing the economy to its knees. When kidnappers kill the kidnappee people do not blame the family, they blame the kidnappers.
Government needs its full staff compliment to operate effectively. Its becoming very difficut to adduce convincing reason for a minority party to shutdown the government. The problems are exacerbated by the reluctance of American public opinions to unequivocally condemn the unwholesome act of the Republican Party. Its gross irresponsibility and extreme callousness on the Party to evoke this amagedom on thousands of American working population.
The longer the government stays closed ,the more the gop makes. They don't give a damn about us.
this is like waiting for the opposing football team to throw the football to see if a touchdown is going to be made
Dems need to give a little and repubs need to give a little. Both parties are really looking bad here. Btw, went online to check out ACA and it said it was out of service, try again later. Nice rollout of the ACA.
It seems republican party is getting eccentric , no clue for common people . They are driven by ideology and big money like Koch brothers . They are being exposed and they don't care about tanking the economy . They should loose election .