UPDATE: Obama to Congress: No Negotiations to Reopen Government

By: AP
By: AP
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says President Barack Obama has told congressional leaders he still won't negotiate over re-opening the government or raising the nation's borrowing limit.

Obama and top lawmakers met for more than an hour at the White House on Wednesday, the second day of a partial government shut down. The leaders emerged to say no progress had been made.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the discussion was useful and that Obama is hopeful common sense will prevail. But he says Obama still wants the House to pass a temporary spending measure with no unrelated conditions attached. He says that measure could pass the House with a bipartisan majority.

The House has passed multiple bills to fund the government, but all include provisions that would hamper Obama's health care law.



Boehner says Obama still won't negotiate

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) has emerged from a meeting with President Barack Obama to say the president is still refusing to negotiate.

Obama and congressional leaders met at the White House on the second day of a partial government shutdown. Boehner says it was a nice conversation but suggested little progress was made. He says he wants Obama and Democrats to sit down for a serious discussion about funding the government.

Boehner says House Republicans have sent four proposals for funding the government to the Senate, but they've all been rejected. He says the Senate should appoint conferees to work out differences between a House and Senate proposals.

Obama and Senate Democrats have rejected the House-passed proposals because they all make major changes to Obama's health care law.

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Pelosi: GOP keeps moving goal posts on budget deal

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says House Republicans keep "moving the goal posts" on a budget deal.

The California Democrat said Wednesday that Republican House Speaker John Boehner needs to allow a vote on a Senate passed bill and the government will reopen.

President Barack Obama called congressional leaders of both parties to the White House to discuss the partial government shutdown now in its second day.

House Republicans are demanding changes to Obama's health care law in exchange for reopening the government. Obama has refused. He insists that the House follow the Senate and pass a government funding bill that's free of other demands.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, says House Republicans are too focused on the health care law.


House rejects Democrats' attempt to end shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Republican-run House has rejected an effort by Democrats to force a quick end to the partial government shutdown.

By a 227-197 vote Wednesday, the House rejected a move by Democrats aimed at forcing the House to vote on immediately reopening the government without clamping any restrictions on President Barack Obama's health care law.

The Democratic-run Senate has already approved such legislation.

House Republican leaders have refused to allow their chamber to vote on that plan. They have approved legislation that would reopen government, but only with a one-year delay in the health care law's requirement that individuals purchase health insurance.

The partial shutdown began Tuesday.



WASHINGTON (AP) -- There are suggestions from leaders in both parties that the partial government shutdown could last for weeks.

It went into effect Tuesday, as each side blamed the other for causing it.

President Barack Obama said Republicans brought about the shutdown as part of an "ideological crusade" to wipe out his health care law. House Speaker John Boehner, writing in USA Today, says Democrats "slammed the door on reopening the government" by refusing to negotiate.


Partial reopening bid fails

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House and Senate Democrats say they'll reject a bid by Republicans to reopen portions of the government, including national parks and processing of claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

They say the entire government should be reopened, not just the parts that Republicans like.

Top Senate Democrat Harry Reid said Republicans "are trying to cherry-pick some of the few parts of government that they like."

The plan by House Republicans would also allow the government of Washington, D.C., to use its own taxpayer funds to provide services like garbage pickup.

The closure of national parks is among the most visible effects of the partial government shutdown. The GOP plan would reopen doors and visitors centers at iconic parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone and museums along the National Mall.


Lew says final debt tools are being used

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says that he has now begun using all the extraordinary measures at his disposal to avoid hitting the debt ceiling.

In a letter to congressional leaders late Tuesday, Lew said that he started to use the final three bookkeeping tools available to provide borrowing room for paying the nation's bills. Lew said that there are no other "legal and prudent" options for extending the borrowing authority.

Lew said that his assessment of the date he will run out of maneuvering room had not changed from last week. Lew told Congress on Sept. 25 that the extraordinary measures would be exhausted no later than Oct. 17 and at that time the government would have about $30 billion in cash on hand.


Lawmakers still get a check, even in shutdown mode

WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's at least one constant in a government shutdown: The 532 members of Congress continue to be paid -- at a cost of $10,583.85 per hour to taxpayers.

Lawmakers get their pay even as hundreds of congressional staffers are sent home, packs of tourists are turned away at the Capitol, and constituent services in many offices grind to a halt.

House members and senators can't withhold their own pay even if they want to. Under the Constitution's 27th Amendment, lawmakers can only change the pay of those in a future Congress, not the one in which they serve.

Lawmakers aren't oblivious to how it looks. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and others are pledging to donate their salaries to charity during the shutdown.


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