President Barack Obama is willing to sign a "clean" bill to raise the US debt ceiling - one that does not include policy demands - but it is not yet clear what House Republicans are proposing, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
"The President is happy that cooler heads at least seem to be prevailing in the House," Mr Carney said, responding to news that House Republicans are working on a short-term extension of the debt ceiling.
"We haven't seen a bill yet," Mr Carney 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.