Today, the President met with members of the Senate Democratic caucus. The meeting lasted approximately an hour and a half. The President thanked the Senate Democrats for their efforts this year to try to resolve the budget challenges facing our nation. Earlier this year, the Senate did its job and passed a budget, only to see House Republicans refuse to appoint conferees, blocking the regular order budget process they had asked for years. With the government facing a shutdown a few weeks ago, the Senate passed a clean continuing resolution to attempt to stave off this harmful shutdown we are currently in - a bill that would pass the House with a bipartisan majority if only the House Republican Leadership would put it up for a vote. And the Senate Leadership is readying a bill that would remove the threat of default and raise the debt limit for a year, a period of time that would promote certainty for our nation’s businesses and our economy as a whole. The President and the Congressional Democrats share the principle that we cannot allow a faction of the House Republicans to demand a ransom from the American people in exchange for Congress doing its job, and the President reaffirmed that we will not allow them to hold the economy hostage to an extreme political agenda that includes demands like defunding Obamacare or reinstating tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires that the majority of Americans reject. The President and the Senate Democrats will continue to pursue reasonable discussions about our budget challenges after these manufactured crises end, and the President looks forward to continuing to work with them to pursue policies that grow our economy, create jobs and strengthen the middle class.