President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have not made any radical shifts in position on the partial government shutdown or the federal debt limit, but a brief truce may not be out of the question.
Boehner told reporters Tuesday he is not drawing "lines in the sand."
Hours later, President Obama said he "absolutely" would negotiate with Republicans if Congress first sent him short-term budget and debt limit measures.
Meanwhile, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki plans to express his concerns about the potential damage from the partial government shutdown when he testifies Wednesday before a House committee.
Shinseki says about 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation next month if the partial government shutdown continues into late October.
Some half-a-million people's pensions are also threatened.