President Obama will meet Wednesday afternoon with House Democrats to discuss the government shutdown and looming debt-ceiling deadline, a White House official said.
The congressional outreach effort comes nine days into the government shutdown and with just over a week until Oct. 17 — the day the Treasury Department says the nation will hit the debt ceiling.
The meetings also come amid criticism from House Republicans that the president has been unwilling to negotiate over reopening the government or extending the debt limit.
"The president's position that ... we're not going to sit down and talk to you until you surrender is just not sustainable. It's not our system of government," Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE (R-Ohio) said Tuesday.
"The long and short of it is there is going to be a negotiation here," he added.
At a White House press conference earlier in the day, the president said he was "happy to talk with him and other Republicans about anything" but again insisted he would not offer concessions in exchange for reopening the government.
"You do not hold people hostage or engage in ransom taking to get 100 percent of your way," Obama said.
The meeting with House Democrats comes a day after White House chief of staff Denis McDonoughDenis McDonoughObama's chief of staff joins foundation with focus on jobs Chicago mayor visits White House to meet with Trump aides Obama staffers challenged to WH scavenger hunt on final day MORE visited House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Capitol Hill. McDonough has been a frequent visitor to House Democratic Caucus meetings in recent weeks, as the administration has worked to keep their party unified on the budget negotiations.