President Barack Obama called congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday, offering a glimmer of hope during the second day of the government shutdown.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the Wednesday meeting is potentially a “start to serious talks between the two parties.”
“The president will urge the House to pass the clean C.R. to reopen the government, and call on Congress to act to raise the debt ceiling to pay the bills we have already incurred and avoid devastating consequences on our economy,” an administration official told the New York Times.
Numerous members of Congress have asked the president to step in, including Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.
“The President of the United States needs to get involved,” King told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on “Hardball.”
“He can blame us. He can blame the Republicans. All that’s fair comment. But he is the president. This is his government. These are his people who are being furloughed.”
House Republicans are currently expanding a list of federal programs it wants to finance amid the shutdown. Democrats criticized the fact that the GOP chose opening the national parks over cancer research at the National Institutes of Health.
The White House already said Obama was veto such a measure.
“Consideration of appropriations bills in a piecemeal fashion is not a serious or responsible way to run the United States Government,” the White House budget office told the Times. “Instead of opening up a few Government functions, the House of Representatives should reopen all of the Government.”
Obama invited Speaker Boehner; House Democratic minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.