WASHINGTON  -   With President Obama watching from the White House, the struggle to end the shutdown of the government has turned into a battle between Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate, raising the risk of a historic default later this month.

Budget talks between the House and president broke down Saturday. “It’s now up to the Senate Republicans to stand up,” said Idaho Republican Congressman Paul Labrador.

CNN says Republican Senators have told the House leaders they have a maximum of 48 hours to come up with a plan Obama will accept.  Politico, an online news service, said the conflict has become so blurred that Senators had to ask Obama what the House was proposing.

While the House proposal Thursday for a six-week extension of the debt ceiling was not dead on arrival, it didn’t make it through the night. “It is our view that we cannot have a situation where the debt ceiling is extended as part of a budget negotiation process for only six weeks, which would put us right back in the same position that we’re in now,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

On Saturday morning, Politico said House Speaker John Boehner had met with his Ohio delegation, according to sources who attended the session, and said there was no agreement with Obama and no negotiations under way. The Washington Post confirmed the Politico report. Associated Press also reported talks between the House and the president had stalled. Polls showing the favourability rating of Republicans at an all time low of 24 percent and an alliance of business leaders pushing for an end to the government shutdown put pressure on the Republicans.

Starbucks sent a wakeup call, emailing its customers to push for an end to the 11-day-old shutdown and to protect the debt limit ceiling.  The American Association for Retired Persons followed Saturday with an email to members opposing any concessions by Obama.

CNN said Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine had joined a bipartisan group seeking to turn the government lights back on, as Carney put it. The problem was to find a modus vivendi that even Tea Party conservatives would accept.

Opposition to Obamacare, ostensibly the trigger for the fight, was lost in the tsunami of photo ops showing the impact of a shutdown Republicans had pooh-poohed. Stories of the impact of federal workers and others who had lost their pay checks also were getting wide publicity.