As negotiators work over the weekend to resolve Washington’s budget and debt deadlocks, President Obama said Saturday that he’s hopeful to end “the pain of this Republican shutdown” soon.
In his weekly address, Mr. Obama said it was a “positive development” that House Republicans have offered to raise the nation’s borrowing limit for six weeks.
“Once the debt ceiling is raised, and the shutdown is over, there’s a lot we can accomplish together,” Mr. Obama said. “Manufacturing crises to extract massive concessions isn’t how our democracy works, and we have to stop it.”
The administration says the government will run out of authority to pay its bills unless Congress agrees to raise the debt limit by Thursday.
The House and Senate were working Saturday on differing proposals to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government, which has been shut down for 12 days. House Republicans have offered the administration a proposal that would set up budget talks and, although Mr. Obama hasn’t accepted it, both sides are still talking.
Speaker John A. Boehner was holding a session with GOP lawmakers Saturday to update them on the status of negotiations.
Senate Democrats are considering a plan that would extend the borrowing limit through the 2014 elections. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are working on a proposal that would increase the borrowing limit until January, end the government shutdown and delay Obamacare’s tax on medical devices.
Republicans said Mr. Obama is seeking increased revenue as part of the negotiations; the president said in his weekly address that he wants to cut budget deficits “in a smarter, balanced way that lets us afford to invest in the things we need to grow.”
As talks continue, House Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, California Republican, urged the president to sign interim measures approved by the House to reopen some government services, including national parks.
“The House has passed more than a dozen bills providing funding for things we can all agree on — veterans, cancer research, National Guard, national parks, Head Start, food safety, flight safety, border security, nuclear weapon security, and more,” Mr. McKeon said in the Republicans’ weekly address. “President Obama and Senate Democrats should back these bills immediately.”
After that, Mr. McKeon said, “The president should work with us on plans to reopen the entire government and make sure we do not default on our debts.”