Boehner: Obama Won't Negotiate, Obama: Vote on Debt Limit - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Boehner: Obama Won't Negotiate, Obama: Vote on Debt Limit

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President Barack Obama says he told House Speaker John Boehner he's willing to negotiate with Republicans on their priorities, but not under the threat of "economic chaos."

Obama spoke to reporters at the White House Tuesday in the midst of the eighth day of a partial government shutdown and a few hours after calling Boehner. 
 
Obama says he urged Boehner to hold a vote immediately to reopen the government. 
 
The White House says Obama also urged Boehner to hold a vote that would allow the government to borrow more money.
 
Senate Democrats are planning a vote this week to provide new borrowing, without new spending cuts Republicans want.

President Obama says he's fighting the budget battle because "we can't make extortion routine as part of our democracy." 
 
Obama says he's willing to not only negotiate fiscal issues with Republicans, but changes to health care law. But he says first he wants them to pass a bill to stop a partial government shutdown. 
 
Obama noted that the shutdown already made him cancel a trip to Asia this week. He argued the shutdown is hurting U.S. credibility around the world and -- quote -- "makes it look like we don't have our act together."

Boehner says President Obama is demanding the GOP surrender the budget and debt limit fight unconditionally, but Republicans won't do it.
 
The Ohio Republican was responding to Obama's statement earlier saying he would discuss anything Republicans want, including proposed changes to "Obamacare," but not under the threat of "economic chaos." He urged Boehner to hold a vote immediately to reopen the government and to allow the country to borrow more money. Boehner is insisting instead that the two sides start negotiating now on the terms of any budget or debt agreement, saying attaching other measures is a long-held practice.
 
They spoke with the government's partial shutdown in its eighth day. An even bigger financial crisis looms next week when the government reaches its borrowing limit.

Earlier during a phone call to Boehner, Obama urged him to allow a timely vote on the measure, quote, "with no ideological strings attached."
  
Boehner says he is willing to negotiate budget issues with President Obama without any conditions.
 
The Ohio Republican told reporters Tuesday, quote, "I'm not drawing any lines in the sand."
 
Boehner spoke as the government's partial shutdown entered the eighth day. An even bigger financial crisis looms next week when the government reaches the limit of its authority to borrow money.
 
Republicans have said they want changes to Obama's signature health care law in exchange for reopening the government. They have said they want spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit.
  
Boehner said, quote, "All we're asking for is to sit down and have this conversation." 

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats can expect rejection from Republicans when Democrats propose a stand-alone measure to increase the government's borrowing cap. 

During a live press conference President Obama said, "If Congress doesn't raise debt ceiling America would not be able to pay its obligations for the first time in 225 years."
 
They could make that move today, with a test vote coming later this week. 
 
Republicans want the measure to contain budget cuts to make a dent in deficits. But it's not clear if the GOP will try to filibuster the Democrats' plan.
 
The Senate move comes as the partial government shutdown enters its eighth day with no end in sight.   (AP)

Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today urging Speaker Boehner to bring a bill to reopen the government to the House floor.  Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

As we enter the second week of this Republican government shutdown, the Speaker of the House of Representatives is still sitting on the one bill that can reopen the government. Speaker Boehner insists the Senate-passed bill to end this shutdown can't pass the House. I have a challenge for my friend, the Speaker: prove it.

If Speaker Boehner really believes that the bill won't pass, then he shouldn't worry about bringing it up for a vote. The House has wasted weeks voting more than 40 times to repeal ObamaCare, even though we all knew that was a fool's errand. So I know the Speaker isn't worried about wasting the people's time. Could it be that the Speaker is really worried that reasonable Republicans will join Democrats to end this irresponsible Republican government shutdown?

Sensible Republicans have grown increasingly fed up with this shutdown.  They're looking for a way out. Just yesterday, Republican Congressman Pete King of New York said, "Republicans should not have started this. Closing the government down was the wrong thing to do."

Congressman King called Speaker Boehner's unreasonable strategy – to shut down the government unless Democrats agree to defund or delay ObamaCare, a law that will help 25 million uninsured American access affordable health care – "doomed to failure." King went on to say yesterday, "If we want to defund something, we should repeal it, and do it the same way the President got it signed: elect Republicans to both houses of Congress, repeal it, and have a Republican president sign it."

In other words, follow the Democratic process. I know Republicans don't like ObamaCare. But the Affordable Care Act has been the law of the land for four years. It has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. And tens of millions of Americans are already benefiting from this law.

If Republicans want to propose a legislative way to make the law better or more efficient, Democrats are willing to talk about that. But shutting down the government and hoping that will make ObamaCare disappear is truly magical thinking.

Last week, Thomas Freidman wrote in the New York Times that ObamaCare is not really at stake in this showdown. It's Democracy that's at stake.  This is what he said: "When extremists feel that insulated from playing by the traditional rules of our system, if we do not defend those rules — namely majority rule and the fact that if you don't like a policy passed by Congress, signed by the president and affirmed by the Supreme Court then you have to go out and win an election to overturn it; you can't just put a fiscal gun to the country's head — then our democracy is imperiled."

Freidman went on to say: "President Obama is not defending health care. He's defending the health of our democracy. Every American who cherishes that should stand with him."

Democrats stand with him. We believe deeply that ObamaCare is already saving lives and will save many more in the future. But we're still willing to improve the law. Democrats are willing to negotiate – on the budget, on Obamacare, you name it. And we're willing to compromise.

But first, Republicans must reopen the government and stop threatening a catastrophic default on the nation's bills. They must respect the Democratic process. The Senate has already passed a bill that could end this Republican government shutdown tomorrow.

All Speaker Boehner has to do is be reasonable. Allow a vote in the House of Representatives on the Senate's clean continuing resolution – a bill the Speaker proposed in the first place. It will pass. The government will reopen. Then we can get back to the negotiating table and work out our budget disagreements. We can even start talking about ways to make the Affordable Care Act work better. And we can even get back to the business of legislating.

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