Democrats, Obama message to GOP: “Coalesce behind a clear negotiating position”

SHARE Democrats, Obama message to GOP: “Coalesce behind a clear negotiating position”
SHARE Democrats, Obama message to GOP: “Coalesce behind a clear negotiating position”

WASHINGTON–The four top Senate Democratic leaders met with President Barack Obama for 75 minutes on Saturday on the debt ceiling and shutdown standoff, concluding “while Democrats remain united, Republicans have yet to coalesce behind a clear negotiating position,” a Senate aide said.

On Saturday, Day 12 of the partial federal government shutdown, the GOP and Democratic Senators started their own talks as the Thursday deadline to lift the debt ceiling loomed and discussions between House Republicans and the White House stalled.

Senate Democratic leaders said talks started on Saturday morning with the players including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.); Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

Reid, Schumer Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) met with Obama.

Afterwards, a Senate aide said Senate Democratic leaders had a very productive meeting with President Obama and they remain fully united moving forward. The President and the leaders compared notes and reviewed a number of the options raised in meetings over the past few days. Their conclusion was that while Democrats remain united, Republicans have yet to coalesce behind a clear negotiating position.

“The President and the leaders agreed that talks between Senate Democratic and Senate Republican leaders should continue in the coming days, but Democrats’ position remains the same: Democrats are willing to negotiate on anything Republicans wants to discuss as soon as we reopen the government and pay our bills.”

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