A senior Obama economic adviser is suggesting that the White House would be open to a short-term increase in the nation's borrowing authority.

Clouds fill the sky in front of the U.S. Capitol (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

But the adviser, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, says a long-term extension of the debt limit would be better for the economy.

Sperling says the size of the increase is up to Congress. Asked if a two- or three-week extension would be out of the question for the White House, Sperling said, quote, "Longer is better for economic certainty and jobs, but it is ultimately up to them."

Sperling spoke at a breakfast Monday sponsored by Politico.

Sperling reiterated President Barack Obama's vow not to negotiate on the debt because it would sanction the threat of default as a bargaining chip and increase the chance of default in the future.

Reid, Boehner spar as budget battle continues

The Senate's top Democrat, Harry Reid, says House Speaker John Boehner has a credibility problem.

In a statement, Reid calls on Boehner to allow a vote on a straightforward bill to re-open the government.

A Reid spokesman says Boehner is consistently saying things that "fly in the face of the facts or stand at odds with his past actions." The spokesman says Americans are suffering because Boehner won't "come to grips with reality."

A spokesman for Boehner responds that Senate Democrats should put aside what he says is their phony outrage. The spokesman says the government is shut down because "Democrats refuse to negotiate."

Boehner has insisted that President Barack Obama must negotiate if he wants to end the shutdown, which is now in its second week, and avoid a default that could bring about a new recession.

The House and Senate return to work today with no signs of progress toward ending the disputes over the shutdown and the debt limit.

Stocks sink as Washington stalemate drags on

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The stock market is lower as the U.S. government heads into a second week of a partial shutdown with no signs of a budget agreement in sight.

The Dow lost 1.2 percent last week as investors became anxious that the budget stalemate in Washington could bring the U.S. closer to defaulting on its debt. Lawmakers have until Oct. 17 to reach a deal on increasing the nation's borrowing limit.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)