'Mild Optimism' Over Washington Negotiations

Talks between the president and Republicans could produce a temporary solution to the stalemate.
3:00 | 10/11/13

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Transcript for 'Mild Optimism' Over Washington Negotiations
washington. Day 11 of the government shutdown. It's been slow-going in the high-stakes negotiations. Finally, a glimmer of progress last night after high-level meetings between the president and house republicans. Abc's jonathan karl is live there for us in washington, for us. Good morning, jon. Reporter: Good morning, robin. Well, there is no solution yet. And believe me, plenty of ways for all of this to fall apart. But beginning with that meeting last night between the president and house republicans, the two sides are actually talking. And that, as one player involved in all this told me this morning, is a cause for, quote, mild optimism. House republicans emerged from a white house meeting with president obama, saying they were encouraged. We had a very useful meeting. It was clarifying, I think, for both sides as to where we are. Reporter: Republicans went to the meeting with an offer. They'll temporarily raise the debt ceiling, postponing the threat of a catastrophic meltdown for six weeks, leaving time for negotiations to end the government shutdown. I hope the president will look at this as an opportunity, and a good faith effort on our part to move halfway. Reporter: President neither accepted nor rejected the republican offer. But the president and congressional democrats have consistently said they will not negotiate until the government shutdown has ended. On thursday, it was unclear whether or not that position might be changing a bit. I want to be sure I had it right. The president will not engage in budget negotiations with the republicans until the government is reopened? Is that his position? Our position is clear. They have ought to turn on the lights. They ought to pay our bills. Reporter: The white house was hoping for a debt ceiling increase that would last more than a year. But they also indicated they could accept a short-term increase, too. If a clean debt limit bill is passed, he would likely sign it. Reporter: Well, the two sides are nearing an agreement on preventing default. They are also working on agreement to reopen the government. Something I'm told could happen if this all works out, by early next week. Meanwhile, the president has more meetings with republicans, here at the white house. This time, today, it will be senate republicans coming here to talk to the president.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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