The dates in both plans are the same: reopen the government until Jan. 15 and lift the debt limit until Feb. 7. The House would restrict the Treasury Department's ability to engage in "extraordinary measures" to push the debt limit deadline back past Feb. 7. The administration opposes that measure but it's not clear that it's a deal-breaker. The Treasury declined to comment on this provision.
The real stumbling block appears to be the White House desire not to have the House GOP dictate terms of the end of the shutdown and debt limit fight. Doing so could enshrine a precedent in which tea party Republicans get to dictate policy changes in return for future debt limit hikes and funding resolutions.
That was the clear position in the official White House statement on the House Republican effort from spokeswoman Amy Brundage.
"The President has said repeatedly that Members of Congress don't get to demand ransom for fulfilling their basic responsibilities to pass a budget and pay the nation's bills," Brundage said. "Unfortunately, the latest proposal from House Republicans does just that in a partisan attempt to appease a small group of Tea Party Republicans who forced the government shutdown in the first place. Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have been working in a bipartisan, good-faith effort to end the manufactured crises that have already harmed American families and business owners."
(Read more: Sen. Reid: US could be downgraded Tuesday night)
Clearly the White House wants this standoff to end with a peace brokered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that includes some give from both sides. And the administration does not view the House GOP offer as giving up anything even though they have moved far off their initial demands to defund Obamacare.
So what happens now?