US President Barack Obama is willing to look at a proposal by congressional Republicans to extend the debt ceiling for six weeks, but insists that lawmakers end the 10-day government shutdown as well, a White House official has said.
The White House did not reject outright, but reacted cautiously, to a plan that House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner presented to his fellow House Republicans ahead of a meeting they were to hold with President Obama today.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, insisted that Obama would not agree to negotiations over the debt limit, a primary goal of conservative House Republicans.
"Congress needs to pass a clean debt limit increase and a funding bill to reopen the government," the official added.
The US shutdown is but a precursor to a much bigger problem - in a couple of weeks the government, shutdown or not, will run out of cash.
Landmarks across the US have closed as the Congress failed to reach a deal over the budget.