(CNN) – While parts of the government remain closed and the debt limit deadline is less than a week away, negotiators appear a little bit closer Friday to working out a deal.
Up to speed
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone on Friday afternoon and agreed that all should “keep talking,” according to their spokesmen.
This as the White House expressed concerns with a proposal by House Republicans that would only address a debt-ceiling increase, saying Obama wants to do that and reopen the government.
Over in the Senate, CNN’s Dana Bash reports several impatient GOP senators are willing to give Boehner a day or two to come up with a deal with the White House on the shutdown and the debt ceiling. After that, they plan to push their own ideas more aggressively. They want longer-term solutions.
On the table
GOP sources told CNN's Deirdre Walsh that House Republicans have made an offer to President Barack Obama to resolve the budget standoff but the plan falls short of Obama's demand to immediately reopen the government. But the plan would temporarily raise the debt ceiling, the other key Democratic demand.
Republican leaders are pushing to separate the two issues and allow a vote to raise the debt limit while continuing talks with the White House over a government funding bill that would end the shutdown.
The House vote on a short term debt ceiling could come over the weekend.
Capt. Keith Colburn, one of the irascible skippers on TV's "Deadliest Catch," left the dangerous Bering Sea, where he normally skippers a crab boat, for the equally treacherous waters of Washington to talk about the shutdown's effect on the fishing industry.
"We're basically locked out, our fisheries are all closed because we don't have National Marine Fisheries... on the job to issue the permits," Colburn said. "I guess they're deemed unessential staff; they're kind of essential to us."
The short crab season starts in a few days and without a permit, Colburn won't be able to make a living. And if the U.S. fleet can't fish, Colburn expects others to fill the void in the export market.
"There is a threat that our crab will be replaced by cheap Russian imports, or pirated Russian crab, and that will definitely occur in Japan," Colburn said.
Republican senators have their own plan
Even before Thursday's breakthrough, Obama had already scheduled a meeting with Republican senators on Friday morning.
They came with a plan of their own that would raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government. It also included a provision to end a tax on medical devices, which was created as a funding mechanism to pay for the President's signature health care law.
That provision has continually been a Republican negotiating point and some Democrats have supported it, too.
After the meeting, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has been working on the Senate plan, summarized the discussion to reporters: "He said that some of the elements were issues we could work on but he certainly didn't endorse it."
Asked if he thought the issues could be worked out over the next few days, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah replied, "No, I didn't come away with that feeling. I came away with a feeling this is gonna be a difficult experience."
While North Carolina says it doesn’t have the money for about 50,000 food aid recipients, other states are rearranging funds to accommodate the demand. In November, however, the story will be very different if the government is still closed.
Maine is worried about the lack of funds for a program called LIHEAP, which provides heating assistance for low income people.
The District of Columbia is in a crunch. Mayor Vincent Gray said the city has had to delay $90 million worth of payments to Medicaid providers, it is about to miss a $150 million payment to charter schools, and it hasn’t been able to pay a multimillion-dollar bill to the public transit system, WMATA. That’s because Congress controls most of D.C.’s money and isn’t able to release it due to the government shutdown.
Federal courts will remain open – for now. The court system, including the Supreme Court, has the money to operate until October 17.
Upon the news that the chance of a breakthrough is slightly increased, the Dow climbed up 300 points Thursday, the best gain of the year.
And one prominent coffee chain’s CEO is getting a lot of free media coverage around his harsh words for the government.