WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner told Republican lawmakers today he will give President Barack Obama a proposal extending the government’s ability to borrow money through Nov. 22 — but only if he agrees to negotiate over ending the partial government shutdown and a longer-term increase in the debt ceiling.
“It gets us down the road a little bit so they can continue to talk,” Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., said after Boehner presented the plan to a closed-door meeting of House Republicans.
Though the GOP proposal could avert an unprecedented federal default that the Obama administration has warned could occur as early as Oct. 17, it would not necessarily bring a quick end to the 10-day partial federal shutdown. Obama has insisted that Congress reopen the government and extend the debt limit without condition.
A White House official said Obama would be willing to negotiate over the budget “once Republicans in Congress act to remove the threat of default and end this harmful government shutdown.”
Rep. Robert Pittinger, R-N.C., said the six-week extension would provide “an opportunity to bring the parties together.”
Under Boehner’s offer, the House would also appoint negotiators to bargain with the Democratic-led Senate over a budget compromise. Those talks have been on hold for months, and the two chambers have deep differences over taxes and cuts in benefit programs.
Boehner and other House GOP leaders were traveling to the White House later today to discuss their budget battle with Obama.
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., said the plan was for the House to approve the bill on Friday.