Accelerated efforts, no agreement on shutdown/debt

  • Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013 12:22 a.m.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
President Barack Obama meets with small business owners to talk about the government shutdown and debt ceiling, on Friday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak President Barack Obama meets with small business owners to talk about the government shutdown and debt ceiling, on Friday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With time running short, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner accelerated efforts Friday to prevent the U.S. Treasury from default and end a partial government shutdown that stretched into an 11th day. The latest impacts: New aircraft grounded, military chaplains silenced and a crab harvest jeopardized in the Bering Sea.

“Let’s put this hysterical talk of default behind us and instead start talking about finding solutions,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Republicans in the House and Senate separately made proposals to the White House for ending an impasse that polls said has inflicted damage on their party politically.

Each offered to reopen the government and raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit – but only as part of broader approaches that envision deficit savings, changes to the health care law known as Obamacare and an easing of across-the-board spending cuts that the White House and Congress both dislike. The details and timing differed.

“We’re waiting to hear” from administration officials, said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Hopes remained high on Wall Street, where investors sent the Dow Jones industrial average 111 points higher following Thursday’s 323-point surge.

Obama met at the White House with small business owners about the impacts they were feeling from the budget battles, and said he hoped to be able to bring them toward a conclusion, said Det Ansinn, who attended the session.

“He was a little slightly melancholy that maybe it could be done over the weekend and maybe not. He’s been down this road before,” said Ansinn, owner of Doylestown, Pa.-based mobile and Web app developer Brick Simple. Ansinn said he told the president how the shutdown is threating to delay some of his projects and he fears what a possible impending government default could do to the economy.

In meetings with lawmakers over two days, Obama left open the possibility he would sign legislation repealing a medical device tax enacted as part of the health care law. Yet there was no indication he was willing to do so with a default looming and the government partially closed.

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