The White House says President Barack Obama welcomes a "constructive approach" from congressional Republicans in a new budget offering but "has some concerns with it."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone Friday, after officials said House Republicans offered to pass legislation to avert a default and end the 11-day government shutdown.
Their proposal to end the stalemate would include cuts in benefit programs and changes to Obama's health care law.
Carney told reporters Friday he won't get into details of Obama and Boehner's call. But he reiterated that Obama believes the debt ceiling should be lifted without ties to budget negotiations.
Carney said a short-term funding bill and debt limit increase are "the very least that Congress could do."
On Friday, Obama spoke by phone to a group of about 150 leaders of major businesses to give them an update on talks with Congress on lifting the debt ceiling ahead of a default deadline next week, the White House said.
"The president reiterated that his first order of business is to urge Congress to reopen the government and remove the threat of default, and then he is willing to engage with Congress on a long-term budget,'' the White House said.
Obama also spoke with a group of 25 state governors about the government shutdown, now in its 11th day, and its impact on state budgets and the economy.
"He argued that the prolonged shutdown is having adverse consequences on consumer confidence and businesses, and is hurting local economies across the country that rely on tourism at national parks and monuments,'' the White House said.