After White House Meeting, Democrats Talk Unity

Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:22pm

After a meeting at the White House with President Barack Obama that lasted over an hour, Democrats are talking up their unified position and pushing the GOP to reopen the government.

“While Democrats remain united, Republicans have yet to coalesce behind a clear negotiating position,” said a Senate Democratic leadership aide in a statement Saturday afternoon. “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 want to discuss as soon as we reopen the government and pay our bills.”

That statement jives with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s stance at a news conference shortly before the White House meeting, where he both reached out to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., while also making clear that Democrats would demand the GOP agree to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling before discussing what comes next.

There have been worries among Senate Democrats that the White House would cut a side deal with House or Senate Republicans, but so far at least, the White House is sticking by Reid.