Texas representatives encouraged by talks on shutdown, default

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by JASON WHITELY / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM

WASHINGTON -- As of late Thursday night, there's no done deal to end the partial government shutdown and avoid a default for the U.S. But for the first time in 10 days,  there were talks.

And a couple North Texas congressmen are at the center of them.

As drizzle falls on the U.S. Capitol, Republicans and Democrats are moving from posturing to progress.

"We'll give up something, you give up something," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). "I think it's what the American people would like for us to do."

Congressman Hensarling was among 17 House leaders at the White House Thursday afternoon, taking a proposal to the president.

"So, we met him half way," Hensarling said. "We said, 'Alright fine. You wanted a debt ceiling without conditions. We'll give it to you for six weeks. There is one condition. One condition is it's not substantive. It's procedural. Talk. Negotiate.'"

The White House called it a good meeting.

Republicans refuse to reopen the government though until they see spending cuts first.

"I can tell you regardless of party affiliation, people are fed up," said Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas). "They want to see an end to the Republican shutdown."

Texas Democrats say they will consider the Republican proposal.

"We will look seriously at it, and I am prepared to move forward if we find that that is the only way forward," said Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas).

The U.S. could default on its debt as early as next week, creating an urgent deadline for a deal.

That's likely to get solved first, but how long it could take to reopen the government is anyone's guess.

Thursday night, both sides were working late trying to create a framework to begin negotiations.

In another sign of progress, the president and vice-president plan to meet with Senate Republicans Friday morning to see how they can begin talks, too.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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