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Upton on Debt Ceiling talks: 'It’s too bad these discussions didn’t happen some time ago'

official potrait
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)

Michigan Congressman Fred Upton is optimistic a dealcan be reached to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.

Congress must approve increasing the nation’s debt ceiling or the country could potential default on its debts.

Fred Upton was among a group of Republican lawmakers who met with President Obama on Thursday for more than an hour.

He won’t say what exactly discussed during the hour and a half long meeting with the president, except to say it was “constructive.”

“We can begin to work this out…by listening to each other and truly working together on a solution that can pass with a pretty good majority in the House and the Senate,” says Upton. 

Upton declined to say what was discussed at his meeting with the president.   But he does expect a debt ceiling deal soon.     Upton adds the issues of the debt ceiling and the government shutdown are "interrelated."

“You know it’s too bad these discussions didn’t happen some time ago,” says Upton.

Republican lawmakers issued this statement on Thursday’s meeting:

“This evening in the Roosevelt Room, the leaders laid out the House proposal to temporarily extend the debt limit, formally appoint budget negotiators and begin immediate discussions over how to re-open the government. No final decisions were made; however, it was a useful and productive conversation. The President and leaders agreed to good faith negotiations with the president and we are pleased there was an opportunity to sit down and begin a constructive dialogue tonight.”

The White House also issued a statement:

“The President had a good meeting with members of the House Republican Leadership this evening; the meeting….After a discussion about potential paths forward, no specific determination was made. The President looks forward to making continued progress with members on both sides of the aisle. The President’s goal remains to ensure we pay the bills we’ve incurred, reopen the government and get back to the business of growing the economy, creating jobs and strengthening the middle class.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.