(CBS NEWS) - The House Republican leadership has presenting a plan to increase the debt limit for six weeks at a conference meeting Thursday morning, the first sign of legislation that might head off a default when the U.S. exhausts its borrowing authority on Oct. 17.
GOP aides said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is presenting a "clean" bill - free of any other policy conditions - that would increase the borrowing limit until Nov. 22 in order to allow time for broader negotiations on a debt-reduction strategy and separate fights over the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Boehner called the proposal a "move half way to what [President Obama] has demanded."
The Republicans will continue to push for concessions on Obamacare in exchange for reopening the federal government, which has been shut down for 10 days. Asked what it would take to reopen the government, Boehner said that would depend on negotiations with Mr. Obama. "I don't want to put anything on the table, I don't want to take anything off the table," he said.
In response to the news of the House GOP plan, the White House signaled its support for a clean, temporary debt ceiling increase but is also insisting it be accompanied by a vote on a clean spending bill to reopen the government.
"Once Republicans in Congress act to remove the threat of default and end this harmful government shutdown, the President will be willing to negotiate on a broader budget agreement to create jobs, grow the economy, and put our fiscal house in order," a White House official said.