talks

President Obama and congressional Republicans have finally decided it’s time to talk.

Obama will meet with 18 House Republicans at the White House on Thursday as leaders of both parties intensify their efforts to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17.

Among the participants will be the House GOP’s budget chief, Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), who on Wednesday tried to sell conservatives on a two-step plan to hike the debt limit and reopen the government long enough for Congress to pass entitlement reforms.

Ryan’s proposals came a day after Obama suggested he was open to a short-term deal, giving the back and forth at least the sense of a negotiation.

Ryan made his presentation at a meeting of the conservative Republican Study Committee, expanding on ideas he presented Wednesday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.