Obama tells congressional leaders he won't negotiate on shutdown, debt

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 2, 2013 8:27pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks from the White House about the shootings at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington September 16, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks from the White House about the shootings at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington September 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama stressed to congressional leaders on Wednesday that he will not negotiate with Republicans over a government shutdown or raising the U.S. debt limit, the White House said.

After more than an hour of talks at the White House that did not lead to a breakthrough, the White House issued a statement saying that Obama remains hopeful that "common sense will prevail" in the budget standoff.

"The president made clear to the leaders that he is not going to negotiate over the need for Congress to act to reopen the government or to raise the debt limit to pay the bills Congress has already incurred," the White House said.

Obama held talks in the Oval Office with the top U.S. Republican, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, the top Democrat in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

It was their first face-to-face talks since a government shutdown began on Tuesday.

House Republicans have been demanding that Obama agree to cut funding or delay implementation of his signature healthcare law in exchange for their agreement to approve spending measures to reopen the government.

In addition to the government shutdown, the United States faces a historic debt default on October 17 unless Congress agrees to raise the U.S. borrowing limit.

"The House could act today to reopen the government and stop the harm this shutdown is causing to the economy and families across the country," the White House said.

"The president remains hopeful that common sense will prevail, and that Congress will not only do its job to reopen the government, but also act to pay the bills it has racked up and spare the nation from a devastating default," it said.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Stacey Joyce and David Brunnstrom)

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Comments (12)
richinnc wrote:
Makes me think of how some divorced people say it is the ex-spouses that caused the past 3 divorce’s. But at least our politicians know they never make mistakes, never over spend OUR money, never did anything to cause the economy to tank. In Chicago the saying is that we have the best politicians that money can buy.

Oct 03, 2013 1:13am EDT  --  Report as abuse
unionwv wrote:
“The president made clear to the leaders that he is not going to negotiate over the need for Congress to act to reopen the government or to raise the debt limit to pay the bills…”

U.S. Constitution, Article one section eight, first clause: “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts…”

Congress is not obliged to negotiate. Period.

Oct 03, 2013 9:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:
One thing is clear, the Republicans aren’t really doing this to cut spending in the best interests of our nation as they’re purporting to do. For starters, doing away with the Affordable Care Act will increase the deficit by $109 billion. Furthermore, if the GOP fails to raise the debt limit, a limit representing money already spent, they’ll force us into a default and that will end up costing us far more, with nothing to show for it. Throw in the fact that it costs tax payers approximately $1.45 million every time the Republicans tried to repeal the ACA, for a total of nearly $60 million squandered, it becomes clear that the Republicans are not interested in reining in spending. They’re spending our money grandstanding for their own political purposes. This needs to stop now.
http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/05/16/obamacare-repeal-votes-costs-tens-of-millions/

Oct 03, 2013 9:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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