President Obama spoke over the phone with House-minority-leader House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Sunday, as the two leaders continue to insist on a so-called clean funding bill and debt ceiling increase amid little progress on Capitol Hill.
“They reinforced that there must be a clean debt limit increase that allows us to pay the bills we have incurred and avoid default, and that the House needs to pass the clean continuing resolution to open up the government and end the shutdown,” the White House said of the call.
“The president and the leader also discussed their willingness, once the debt limit is raised and the government reopened, to negotiate on a longer term budget solution,” the White House added in a readout of the call.
Obama spoke with Pelosi as lawmakers try to craft a fiscal solution ahead of Oct. 17, when the federal government is expected to reach its borrowing limit. And a government shutdown is set to enter a third week, with both Republicans and Democrats still far apart on any potential deal.
Though Obama spoke with Pelosi, the path forward is likely to come through the upper chamber. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are trying to hash out a deal after talks broke down between House Republicans and the White House over the weekend.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, floated a plan that would have extended the debt ceiling through January and government funding through March in exchange for some tweaks to Obamacare. Senate Democrats resisted the effort, saying they would need reductions in so-called sequester cuts to approve such a plan.