By Mario Trujillo - 10/09/13 11:00 PM EDT
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday said he would like to see a clean funding resolution pass the House to end the government shutdown.
McCain expressed hesitancy at criticizing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) or Republicans in the House but said he is trying to convince them to sit down and negotiate.
“I try to keep in mind that many of them ran in 2010 promising their constituents that they would do everything in their power to repeal ObamaCare. I respect that.”
McCain has long argued against the effort to tie ObamaCare to government funding. And about 20 House Republicans have also said they would pass a clean funding bill if it came to the floor.
The Arizona senator said it would be helpful if President Obama invited the entire Senate to the White House.
“I do know if the president invited all of us together in the Senate, I think it might be helpful so we could have a healthy exchange,” McCain said.
Obama is planning on bringing both Senate Democrats and Republicans to the White House in coming days.
Obama hosted the House Democratic Caucus in the White House on Wednesday.
The president also invited the entire House Republican Conference on Thursday. But Boehner announced only a number of GOP leaders and committee chairman would attend.
McCain declined to say whether he thought Boehner’s move to not allow the entire conference to attend was correct.
“I don’t know…It is hard for me to critique what my friends in the House of Representatives do,” McCain said. “I know they resent it a lot if I do. I can’t really respond to that.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday expressed disappointment that Boehner declined to bring his entire conference.
McCain said he is optimistic about the level of talks among and between parties nine-days into a shutdown.
“Rarely have I seen so many conversations going on at once,” he said.