WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Top Republicans had their chance to make their argument directly to President Obama Thursday. It appears we are inching closer to a compromise on the debt ceiling, but still no progress toward reopening the federal government.
It's now the tenth day of the government shutdown and the one constant throughout continues - bickering from both sides.
"The American people can be persuaded to raise the debt ceiling but they are not in any mood to simply hand over a blank check," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"We got to get back to deliberating instead of delaying," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD).
But the economic stalemate isn't moving anywhere. Top House Republicans are finally meeting at the White house. Speaker John Boehner said he would support a six-week deal to extend the debt ceiling, but that would not reopen the government.
"I would hope that the president would look at this as an opportunity and a good-faith effort on our part to move halfway," said Boehner.
While not ideal, the White House has hinted it may be OK with that as a short-term fix, potentially agreeing to future spending talks once the pressure of breaching the debt ceiling is off.
"The president strongly prefers a longer term resolution so that we can get away from this periodic brinkmanship," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
But for many furloughed government workers, it's just more lip service.
"This isn't saving the American taxpayer a single cent. We're here. We want to do our jobs. We're passionate about our government service and service to our country and we want to be back at work."
Air traffic controllers were the latest to protest the shutdown in the rain outside the Capitol Thursday as lawmakers continued to spin their wheels inside.