WASHINGTON -- As the federal government's shutdown entered its 11th day on Friday, hopes of a resolution to that and the nearing deadline to raise the nation's debt limit spiked amid talks between Republicans and President Barack Obama.
A meeting between the House GOP and the president on Thursday yielded no agreement, but seemed to break a legislative logjam that had plagued the nation's capital for the past few weeks.
Senate Republicans head to the White House to talk with Obama this morning, a meeting which could further facilitate an end to a shutdown that has placed hundreds of thousands of federal workers onto unpaid furlough, and put services for millions more Americans on hold.
The meeting between Obama and his chief Republican adversaries in the House on Thursday prompted a sharp change in tone from the acrimony that had come to define fiscal negotiations in Washington over the past few months.
GOP negotiators worked with Obama administration aides through the night to cobble together a short-term agreement to both extend the nation's borrowing authority and reinstate funding for vital government operations. If both of those conditions are met, Obama has said he would then -- and only then -- be willing to engage in broader fiscal negotiations with Republicans.
The stakes from the talks are high on several fronts. Financial markets have nervously watched Washington for signs of an agreement that would avoid default on the national debt by Oct. 17, the deadline by which Congress must extend the government's borrowing authority.
The fiscal standoff also had broad political implications, as well. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday found that unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party had reached all-time highs, and that 70 percent of Americans disapproved of the way in which Republicans in Congress were handling the budget standoff.
The pressure from Wall Street, combined with sharply changing public opinion against the GOP, has helped prompt Republican leaders' recent work toward reaching an agreement.
Republican leaders appeared cautiously optimistic late Thursday, saying that a 90 minute meeting with the president was fruitful, even though both sides did not come to an agreement about a temporary hike in the debt ceiling.
I left thinking I believe it is possible for us to get it all done, House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said, adding that the overnight negotiations would be critical to the success of a deal.
The president didn't say yes, he didn't say no, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan told NBC News of the House proposal to raise the debt ceiling for six weeks. It was a useful conversations. We're now going to negotiate.
Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, the vice chairman of the House GOP Conference, told CNBC that House leaders hope to have the government reopened by Monday.
If negotiators from the White House and the House Republican leadership team reach an agreement, Boehner may need Democratic votes to pass it and send it on to the Senate.
On Thursday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that she was reluctant to accept the six-week raise in the debt ceiling, arguing that markets may be spooked by the brief timeline for further negotiations.
I think a six-week lifting of the debt ceiling is not the right way to go, Pelosi said after House Democrats met with President Barack Obama. I think we should go at least one year so that there's some certainty in the markets and that every six weeks people don't have to wonder if the United States of America is going to stand by its full faith and credit.
But, she added, Democrats would wait to see a full package of ideas from House Republicans on how to address the ongoing fiscal fight.
Let's see what it is, she said of a GOP proposal. Give it a chance if it has any value.