GOP Lawmakers 'Very Positive' After White House Meeting

Friday, 11 Oct 2013 01:42 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Two Republican congressmen who met Thursday with President Barack Obama on the government shutdown say they are now hopeful that an honest dialogue about out-of-control spending has finally begun.

"We've been asking the president to sit down and talk to us for quite a while now. So I think last night was very positive," House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday.

"I think a lot of air was cleared of things that we're working on. And we left the meeting with a decision that the president would talk to his people, we would talk to our people, they would talk to each other," the Californian congressman added, referring to the White House meeting Thursday evening between the president and about 20 GOP lawmakers.

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Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise echoed McKeon's sentiment, although he admitted that "real big differences between us and the president on real policy" still exist.

"We're going to have to have more real conversations about how we resolve our differences," Scalise told "Fox & Friends" Friday. "We had to start talking. And yesterday was that first day. We need a lot more of those."

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The talks between the president and Republicans on their differences concerning the shutdown and looming debt-limit deadline continued through the night, with neither side offering any specifics about what transpired.

Scalise would say only that long-term solutions are a priority for Republicans as they work with Democrats to resolve spending issues.

"We want to get a hold on our long-term spending, so we don't have to keep borrowing $700 [billion] to $800 billion each year," he said.

McKeon, calling the process "democracy at work," said just the fact that there is a conversation between Republicans and the White House that has started is a step in the right direction.

"At least now we're talking, and it's time to move forward. It's best for the American people," he said. "I felt good — better than I felt for a few weeks about where we're heading."

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