Oct. 11 - President Obama and congressional Republicans struggle to nail down a deal to increase the U.S. debt limit and reopen the federal government. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Senate Republicans met with President Obama at the White House on the 11th day of a U.S. government shutdown. Negotiations intensified as both sides struggled to nail down the length and terms of a deal to increase the debt limit and reopen the federal government. Republican Senator Susan Collins spoke to reporters after the meeting: (SOUNDBITE)(English) REPUBLICAN SENATOR, SUSAN COLLINS, SAYING: "There were many conversations on the long term debt problem. Many members expressed concern about raising the debt limit without having a specific plan to deal with our 17 trillion dollar national debt. It was a good exchange but it was an inconclusive exchange." White House Spokesman Jay Carney wouldn't get into specific details but repeated the President's stance. (SOUNDBITE)(English) WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN, JAY CARNEY, SAYING: "It is the very least that congress could do, to pass the legislation that would raise the debt ceiling for a short-term, and pass legislation that would fund the government for a short-term, as the senate has already passed. The President has believed that (as I think I've stated many times) that we should raise the debt ceiling for longer than that, as the Senate has proposed and will vote on soon. Because we should not link the threat of default to budget negotiations." Both sides spoke with new optimism about the possibility of avoiding a debt default, though the terms remain unclear. Lawmakers were expected to work through the weekend with a goal of finishing a deal by early next week.