Obama spoke by phone with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Sunday to discuss the ongoing battle over the shutdown, the White House said. The two agreed on the need for a "clean debt limit increase" and a "clean continuing resolution to open up the government and end the shutdown."
Mindful that October 17 is just days away, House Republican leaders are considering all of their options even as Republican and Democratic Senate leaders try to craft a deal on the debt ceiling, a GOP leadership aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told CNN.
One option Republican leaders are considering is sending back a measure to the Senate that would increase the debt limit; exactly what it would contain is unknown at this time.
But the aide noted that the House is able to move quicker than the Senate, and this idea could come into play. If a decision were made to pursue this idea, then it would require Democratic support to pass in the House.
Senate Democrats meet with president
Senate Democrats met with Obama for 75 minutes Saturday afternoon, and a Senate Democratic leadership aide said the party is unified.
"Democrats are willing to negotiate on anything Republicans want to discuss as soon as we reopen the government and pay our bills," said the aide.
Another Democratic source said party leaders regard Republicans as lacking a coherent position. They hope McConnell can "cut through the clutter," the source told CNN's Dana Bash.
The sources, who are familiar with the talks, spoke on the condition of anonymity so they could speak candidly.
Despite the lack of agreement, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said progress was being made.
"I think our Republican colleagues are moving in our direction with the fact that Obamacare is not a major part of the discussion anymore among most all Senate and many House Republicans," he said.
Even as he demanded a "clean" bill, Reid said he and McConnell are involved in "cordial" and "preliminary" discussions.
"I hope that our talking is some solace to the American people and the world," Reid said. He said McConnell had approached him. "This hasn't happened until now," Reid said.