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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 10th, 2013
11:40 PM ET

GOP congressman on negotiations: I don't think it's positive to take anything off the table

Elected officials held meetings late into Thursday night, trying to hammer out a deal to temporarily increase the Treasury Department’s authority to borrow money to pay the nation's debt obligations. If lawmakers fail to raise the debt limit within a week, the government will not be able to pay all of its bills.

A group of House Republicans met with President Barack Obama earlier in the evening, making an offer to raise the debt ceiling for six weeks, in exchange for further negotiations. Obama didn't immediately say yes to the GOP offer, but he didn't say no either. The White House called it "a good meeting."

But how do the two sides get around the elephant in the room, which is the defunding of the Affordable Care Act, and talks of reopening the government?

Asked if defunding Obamacare is now off the table, tea party-backed Republican Congressman Steve Southerland, of Florida, said nothing should be left out of current negotiations.

"I don't think that it's positive to take anything off the table," said Southerland, who attended the meeting at the White House.

The president probably thinks it's positive to take defunding his signature piece of legislation off the bargaining table.

"You have to have an attitude of respect," said Southerland. "Today I think we had that. And we would not commit to anything outside that working group that's working right now as we speak."

For more of our interview with Congressman Steve Southerland, watch the video above.

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