Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., expressed cautious optimism Thursday night after joining other House Republican leaders at the White House in talks aimed at ending the partial government shutdown and averting a new financial crisis over the impending debt ceiling.
“We had a frank, candid and I think useful discussion with the president and vice president at the White House, in the course of almost an hour and a half,” Walden said.
“The president didn’t say yes” to the GOP’s proposal to end the stalemate, Walden said, but added, “He didn’t say no, either.”
“And at least now we’re having conversations that I hope will lead to productive negotiations,” the congressman said, “so we can get to work, and get the government back to work, and do the job to get spending under control and get our deficit under control.”
“We’ll see how all this plays out,” Walden said. “But I would say it was useful discussions, candid discussions, and a better understanding came out of the meeting.”
House Republicans also issued a statement after the session:
"This evening in the Roosevelt Room, the leaders laid out the House proposal to temporarily extend the debt limit, formally appoint budget negotiators, and begin immediate discussions over how to re-open the government. No final decisions were made; however, it was a useful and productive conversation.
"The President and leaders agreed that communication should continue throughout the night. House Republicans remain committed to good faith negotiations with the president, and we are pleased there was an opportunity to sit down and begin a constructive dialogue tonight."