Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama has invited congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday to discuss the need to reopen the government and raise the federal debt ceiling, according to the White House and a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.
The Boehner spokesman, Brendan Buck, confirmed the meeting was set for 5:30 p.m. ET.
“We’re pleased the president finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible,” Buck said. “It’s unclear why we’d be having this meeting if it’s not meant to be a start to serious talks between the two parties.”
The meeting comes on the second day of a government shutdown caused by a stalemate triggered when House Republicans insisted on adding provisions to dismantle or delay Obamacare to a short-term spending measure needed to fund the government in the new fiscal year that started on Tuesday.
A White House official said Obama’s message will be for Congress to pass a “clean” funding bill and debt ceiling measure.