Storm clouds hang over Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate stand at an impasse with Congress continuing to struggle over how to fund the government and prevent a possible shutdown. The Democratic-led Senate was ready Friday to approve legislation to keep the U.S. government running, but disputes with the Republican-run lower chamber of Congress ensured that the battle would spill over into the weekend, as a potential shutdown hurtles closer. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has summoned congressional leaders to the White House on this, the second day of a partial government shutdown.
House Speaker John Boehner's office says the invitation is a sign that the president might be backing down. A Boehner spokesman says Obama "finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible."
But an Obama adviser said the president would urge House Republicans to pass a spending bill that didn't include provisions on health care or other demands.
A spokesman for Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said, "Frankly, we're a little confused as to the purpose of this meeting." But McConnell and Boehner agreed to sit down with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and the Democratic leaders from the Senate and House, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
Meanwhile, there have been some rumblings from Republicans who want to reopen the government. GOP congressman Peter King is accusing lawmakers supported by the tea party of trying to "hijack" the Republican Party. And he said he believes a growing number of rank-and-file GOP lawmakers are tired of the shutdown.
But Republican leaders seem determined to press on, announcing plans to pass five bills to open popular parts of the government. The White House immediately promised a veto.