Facing a fresh deadline, House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans would vote to extend the government's ability to borrow money for six weeks — but only if President Barack Obama first agrees to fresh negotiations on spending cuts.

Members of the Senate Democratic caucus board buses to take them to the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Under the Republican plan, the partial government shutdown would continue.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama "would likely sign" a clean bill increasing the debt cap. He said the president also wants Republicans to reopen the government. But he did not rule out Obama agreeing to the debt ceiling proposal if the government remains closed.

Carney says the White House has yet to see a specific proposal from House Republicans. Boehner and other members of his caucus are scheduled to meet with the president at the White House Thursday afternoon.

Feds to let states pay to open parks

The Obama administration says it will allow states to use their own money to reopen some national parks that have been closed because of the government shutdown.

Governors in at least four states have asked for authority to reopen national parks within their borders because of the economic impacts caused by the park closures.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a letter Thursday to governors in Utah and other states that the government will consider offers to pay for park operations, but will not surrender control of national parks to the states.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has said his state has resources that could be used to operate the parks if federal funding is not available. Governors of South Dakota, Arizona and Colorado have made similar requests.

Senate OKs bill to pay military death benefits

Teri McLain wears a U.S. President Barack Obama figure during a rally to urge Congress to end the government shutdown at the U.S. Capitol, (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Senate has approved legislation to provide benefits to the families of fallen troops.

The Senate backed the measure Thursday, after the House approved it unanimously a day earlier.

The Pentagon typically pays out $100,000 within three days of a soldier's death. But officials say the shutdown means there's no authority now to pay the money.


That's a point of dispute with members of Congress who argue that the benefits should not be affected.

Facing controversy, the Obama administration announced Wednesday that a charity called the Fischer House Foundation would pick up the costs of the payments during the government shutdown.

Federal courts to remain open through Oct. 17

The nation's federal courts have enough money to stay open at least through Oct. 17 if there is no resolution to the budget stalemate in Washington.

The courts' administrative office sent out a statement Thursday. It says the judiciary may be able to make it to the end of next week because of severe restrictions on spending imposed in anticipation of the government shutdown.

If the courts do run out of money, all non-essential work will end. A limited number of workers will perform essential work as determined by each court, while all others will be furloughed.

The Supreme Court has not announced its plans beyond Friday, but lawyers involved in arguments at the high court next week say they expect those sessions will take place.

Army, Navy football ready to play Saturday

Army and Navy are preparing to play their games on Saturday with no interruptions from the partial government shutdown.

The shutdown caused by the budget impasse in Congress caused the Defense Department to suspend athletics at the academies last week for a few days. However, the schools were able to show the Pentagon that no government funds were used for football games and all three academies played last Saturday.

This week began with some uncertainty, but with the schools optimistic. Air Force announced Wednesday its home game against San Diego State will be played Thursday night.

Spokesmen for Army and Navy say their teams are on track to play Saturday.

Army hosts Eastern Michigan. Navy is at Duke. The Midshipmen are schedule to leave for Durham, N.C., on Friday.



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