A spokesman says President Barack Obama will "likely" sign a bill extending the government's ability to borrow money -- but that he wants Congress to reopen the government at the same time.
House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans will vote for a six-week extension of the debt limit, but only if Obama first agrees to fresh negotiations on spending cuts. And under the plan, the partial government shutdown would continue.
White House spokesman Jay Carney didn't rule out Obama agreeing to the debt ceiling proposal if the government remains closed, but there are no promises that he would hold negotiations under those circumstances. Carney says, "He will not pay ransom in exchange for the Republicans in the House doing their job."
Obama meets Thursday afternoon with Boehner and other House Republicans.
After weeks of declines, financial markets have shot higher today in anticipation of a possible deal.
The administration has warned that unless the debt limit is raised, the government will deplete its ability to borrow money by next Thursday -- and that there could be a default.