Obama, GOP Senators Start to 'Jell' in Meeting

Is momentum shifting against House Republicans?

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 11, 2013 5:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – A ray of hope at the White House? Republican senators emerged from a nearly 2-hour meeting with President Obama today saying the two sides are closer to an agreement—or are at least listening to each other, Politico reports. What's more, the Washington Post reports that Obama talked by phone with John Boehner afterwards, and both agreed that the two sides should keep talking. So it looks like no one's getting time off this weekend. In other details:

  • Republican senators said the conversation turned to broader US fiscal issues, rather than just focusing on ObamaCare. "I was pleasantly surprised," said Sen. Bob Corker. "I think there’s a jelling that’s beginning to take place."
  • Momentum may be shifting against House Republicans, as many GOP senators joined Obama in opposing a 6-week debt-limit extension—a proposal that would likely create deadlock right around Thanksgiving and the holiday shopping season.
  • After the meeting, top Republicans continued to craft a bipartisan solution that would extend the US borrowing limit until the end of January, reopen government to the end of March, and either delay or ease a tax on medical devices under ObamaCare—terms closer to what Obama would accept, the New York Times reports.
  • The GOP effort to "defund ObamaCare" seems to be fading, except for Sen. Ted Cruz, who said that any agreement "should provide real relief to the millions of people who are losing their job or forced into part-time work or losing their health insurance because of Obamacare."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, talks with reporters after arriving on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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