UPDATE: 6:15 p.m.
WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner has emerged from a meeting with President Barack Obama to say the president is still refusing to negotiate.
Obama and congressional leaders met at the White House on the second day of a partial government shutdown. Boehner said it was a nice conversation but suggested little progress was made. He says he wants Obama and Democrats to sit down for a serious discussion about funding the government.
Boehner says House Republicans have sent four proposals for funding the government to the Senate, but they've all been rejected. He says the Senate should appoint conferees to work out differences between a House and Senate proposals.
Obama and Senate Democrats have rejected the House-passed proposals because they all make major changes to Obama's health-care law.
Read more in Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
President Barack Obama summoned congressional lawmakers to the White House on Wednesday as a partial government shutdown entered a second day with little sign of a breakthrough to get hundreds of thousands of people back to work. Some on Capitol Hill ominously suggested the impasse might last for weeks, but a few Republicans seemed ready to blink.
House Speaker John Boehner's office said the Ohio Republican would attend the White House meeting Wednesday afternoon, casting it as a sign the president is ready to start negotiating on GOP demands to extract changes to the new health care law in exchange for funding the government.
"We're pleased the president finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible,"" Boehner spokesman Brendan 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."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., were also to attend the White House meeting. An Obama adviser said Obama would urge House Republicans to pass a spending bill free of other demands.
Some Republican lawmakers appear ready to take that step. Republican Rep. Peter King of New York accused tea party-backed lawmakers of trying to "hijack the party" and said he senses that a growing number of rank-and-file House Republicans — perhaps as many as a hundred — are tired of the shutdown that began Tuesday morning and will be meeting to look for a way out.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.