Presidential invitation

Obama plans to talk to GOP again on shutdown, debt.
Associated Press
Oct 9, 2013

President Barack Obama is inviting Republican lawmakers to the White House as pressure builds on both sides to resolve their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown.

With the shutdown in its ninth day Wednesday and a potential economy-shaking federal default edging ever closer, neither side was revealing signs of bending.

But amid the tough talk, Obama invited all 232 House GOP lawmakers to come to the executive mansion on Thursday. Republicans said only 18 would attend, including their leaders and some committee chairmen.

"It is our hope that this will be a constructive meeting and that the president finally recognizes Americans expect their leaders to be able to sit down and resolve their differences," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

On Wednesday, Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., met for 40 minutes at the Capitol with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and No. 2 Democratic leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Each side said the other had requested the meeting, and neither reported any progress in resolving budget differences.

Even so, there were hints of a brief truce, indications that both sides might be open to a short-term extension of the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit and a temporary end to the shutdown, giving them more time to resolve their disputes.

Obama was huddling with House Democrats Wednesday afternoon as both parties looked for a way forward.

So far, the underlying standoff remains the same. Republicans demand talks on deficit reduction and Obama's 2010 health care law as the price for boosting the government's borrowing authority and returning civil servants to work. The president insists that Congress first end the shutdown and extend the debt limit before he will negotiate.

"Speaker Boehner could end this government shutdown today, an hour from now" by letting the House vote to do so, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday.

Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said GOP senators hoped that when they meet Obama — at a time not yet set — he would be willing to bargain.

"But if this is a meeting where he simply reiterates that he won't negotiate, this meeting will not be productive," Stewart said.

On Tuesday, Boehner told reporters he was not drawing "lines in the sand." He sidestepped a question about whether he'd raise the debt limit and fund government for short periods by saying, "I'm not going to get into a whole lot of speculation."

Hours later, Obama used a White House news conference to say he "absolutely" would negotiate with Republicans on "every item in the budget" if Congress first sent him short-term measures halting the shutdown and the extending the debt limit.

"There's a crack there," Boehner said of the impasse late Tuesday, though he cautioned against optimism.

The financial world is flashing its own signs that it fears Washington's twin battles could hurt the global economy.

On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund's financial counselor, Jose Vinals, said a failure by Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling and a subsequent U.S. default would cause "a worldwide shock."

Also, the National Retail Federation became the latest business group to urge lawmakers to quickly end their standoff. In a letter to congressional leaders, federation President Matthew Shay wrote Congress must "reverse the economic crisis it has created through the shutdown while it is still a short-term crisis and not the beginning of another recession."

The Obama administration has said that unless Congress acts, it expects to have an estimated $30 billion in cash left by Oct. 17. That is pocket change for a government that can spend tens of billions more than that on busy days and $3.6 trillion a year.

Hitting that date without congressional action would risk an unprecedented federal default that would wound the economy and deal lasting harm to the government's ability to borrow money, many economists warn. Some Republicans have expressed doubt that the damage would be as severe.

In the House, Republicans were continuing their tactic of pushing through narrowly targeted bills — over Democratic objections — that would restart popular parts of the government.

On Wednesday, the chamber voted 425-0 to finance death benefits for families of fallen U.S. troops. Blaming the shutdown, the Pentagon has halted the $100,000 payments, usually made within three days of a death.

The stoppage of those payments drew the attention of Senate chaplain Barry Black, who in his prayer opening Wednesday's Senate session said, "When our federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to families of children dying in faraway battlefields, it's time for our lawmakers to say, 'Enough is enough.' "

But an official of a conservative group that has pressed Republicans to try repealing Obama's health care law was unyielding, saying that fight should continue.

"We should not fund the government until we address the president's unfair, unaffordable and unworkable law," Michael Needham, chief executive officer of Heritage Action for America, said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.

Democratic senators took to the Capitol's steps to call on Republicans to reopen the government. But they struggled to be heard over chants from a nearby rally of Washington, D.C., residents asking Senate leaders to clear House-passed legislation letting the city use its own tax dollars to provide services.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray spoke briefly to Reid, who with other Democrats is blocking approval of House-passed bills reopening specific programs and is instead insisting the entire government be reopened.

"I'm on your side. Don't screw it up, OK? Don't screw it up," Reid was heard to tell Gray.

___

Associated Press writers David Espo, Julie Pace, Andrew Taylor and Donna Cassata contributed to this report.

 

Comments

thinkagain

“I promise to pretend to negotiate if you give me everything I want.”
President Oblamer Oct. 9, 2013

Pete

"I, uh, just want to, uh, say that, uh, I'm willing to, uh, negotiate, uh, but only, uh, if, uh, I get, uh, my way"

fewdss's picture
fewdss

Start working at home with Google! Its by-far the best job Ive had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. Useful Reference http://ow.ly/pAu07
WORK LESS EARN MORE

The Big Dog's back

You cannot negotiate with stupid teathuglicans.

Erie County Resident

Your right if we would do it the way your master Hopey Changey Clown wants to do it.
Obama says pass this bill exactly as "I" want it then we'll talk about it.
Now piddles you were in business you'd be all for signing a huge contract to deal out trillions of dollars and THEN afterwards work out the details. Only a moron like a Demonthug would do something like that.
Kinda like the ACA huh? Pelosy sez "Let's pass it to find out what is hiding inside".
Yep turn the sharks loose then we'll see if they bite.

0_0

"Hows that hopey changey stuff working out for ya?

The Big Dog's back

Excellent.

coasterfan

It's working extremely well. I shudder to think where the country would be if the Party that brought us the biggest Recession in 90 years had still remained in power. Palin, author of the 'hopey change' line is as inane and irrelevant today as she was when she quit her job as Alaska's governor. I'll take Obama over any of the stunningly out of touch Republican leaders of the past several years...

coasterfan

I agree, Big Dog. These are people who don't understand how Majority Rule works. These are people who aren't able to change a law the constitutional way, so they resort to hostage tactics. Obama already compromised by agreeing to push back the employer mandate by one year, and sure enough, they want more. He is absolutely doing the correct thing, this time, by not acquiescing to their demands. The ACA is already a law, passed by constitutional means, and approved by all 3 branches of our federal gov't, including a conservative Supreme Court.

Darwin's choice

"Most Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, the poll suggests, with 53 percent unhappy with his performance and 37 percent approving of it. Congress is scraping rock bottom, with a ghastly approval rating of 5 percent. Indeed, anyone making headlines in the dispute has earned poor marks for his or her trouble, whether it's Democrat Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, or Republican John Boehner, the House speaker, both with a favorability rating of 18 percent."

So, signed your family up yet??

The Big Dog's back

durwood, Repub congressional approval rating is 5%. ROFLMAO.

SamAdams

What, laws can't be overturned? Ever? Really?

More importantly, the High Court's ruling that Obamacare is constitutional actually rendered it UNconstitutional. I cannot WAIT for the inevitable class action suit to strike the nightmare altogether, and it will. Why? Obama claimed Obamacare wasn't a tax. The High Court ruled it was only consitutional because it WAS a tax. Obamacare originated in the Senate. Oops! Only the House can initiate taxation. Not that Obama gives a happy rat's a$$, mind you, but plenty of lawyers and judges will!

The Big Dog's back

oOOOPS.OBAMACARE originated in the house. HR 3200.

rezzy

Ugh! It appears Big Dog (I'll appease your screen ego by calling you that) is on a rhetorical rant again. In your unwillingness to admit your president is an epic failure by anyone's standards, you continue to stand at the beach to watch the tsunami approach. Your president has been divisive by anyone's standards and has shown that his lack of qualifications has greatly impacted our country. Our country should not have considered a community organizer any more qualified than a police officer applying to be a microbiologist. While it was a historically significant event watching a black man getting elected to the presidency, one cannot ignore his lack of qualifications and the ramifications of placing an unqualified person into such a position. Watching economic and political leaders act out in frustration while they watch our country fail makes me think of how our country's inward looking desire for social equality may have cost us the ultimate price, which is the fall of the once greatest nation on mother Earth. While you pontificate holding your shield of social justice, slow down and concentrate on why you would stand facing forward on the bow of a figurative ship that has just been split in half. In other words, your words are empty and your stance is built upon faulty logic and your true intent is no longer hidden as it is leveraged against the reality that your president has failed miserably. But understanding all of us are looking for something to fulfill some sort of deep emptiness, I will encourage you to consider fulfilling your lack of self-confidence in some other way.

Pete

Did ya see the First Parasite had to cancel her West Coast fundraising trip? Sux to be her...

VOTENO

Tell Hussein to stick it in his rear.

coasterfan

Jeez guys, the election was almost a year ago. Just how long are the sour grapes going to go on?

VOTENO

37% approval rate. Too bad the election wasn't today. Hussein shows his real self to all the sheeple idiots that voted blindly for him.

coasterfan

Actually Obama won in 2012 because people knew what Romney was like, and because a majority of Americans rejected the Republican philosophy. As long as Republican leadership and their rank and file voters continue to believe that the electorate are simply stupid, instead of looking in the mirror to fix their own deficiencies, they'll continue to lose presidential elections.

By continuing to think everyone who sees things differently than you is stupid, by continuing to alienate women, minorities, younger voters, the LGBT community, your party has Zero chance of attracting new members. Fine by me... We Dems are open-minded and inclusive, which is why our numbers continue to grow, as your old-angry-white-men base gradually dies off. Put simply, young people aren't "haters", and are turned off by the GOP.

Obama had been in office for 4 years by the 2012 election. To believe that people "voted blindly for him" - when he was truly a known commodity by that point - shows classic 'head in the sand' mentality.

Darwin's choice

So, cheerleader,have you signed up for Obamacare yet? I'll bet anything it's no.....

Typical of a democrat...it's good for everyone but us.....!

coasterfan

Actually, I already have insurance, but would definitely sign up, if I didn't. You're entirely wrong about Democrats. We tend to think that things are good for everyone INCLUDING us. Would rather be a cheerleader than a typical Republican naysayer; thanks for the compliment!

After all, what makes America good are people who identify a problem and work towards a solution, not people whose only ability is to invent reasons why something won't work. Guess which team Darwin is on?

Critics of the ACA don't seem to understand that the US spends 18% of its GDP on health care, more than any other nation. France, Germany and Japan (3 countries w/universal health care) spend between 9-12%, and obtain better results.

Uninsured Americans - about 15% of our population - force the rest of us (YOU and ME) to provide for their care, but in the dumbest way possible. Because they can't afford to see a doc regularly, treatable conditions worsen, and they end up going to the ER - the most expensive way to receive care. Those bills are passed on to us, via higher insurance premiums (in Texas, an ave. family pays $2700 extra per year to cover care for the uninsured).

Darwin's choice

So, that's no....no matter, you'll be paying through the nose with the premium increases soon enough! Tell your savior Thanks when he bends you over, then tell us how you like that!

More failure of Obamacare....

http://www.digitaltrends.com/opi...

Amazing the amount of money this disfunctional government throws away...

Kottage Kat

No minutes on my Obama phone.
Darn government

coasterfan

You're talking about the free cell phone program that George Bush introduced, right? Have always wondered why conservatives have labeled them Obamaphones... Of course, these are the people who scream about Obamacare, which was previously introduced by Republicans and the Heritage Foundation.

Typical of them...they're all in favor of something, until Democrats start to support it.

Huron_1969

The govt assistance program for telephones was passed in 1996 and is based on more than income status. It's bad enough the media spun it into the obamaphone urban legend, but don't add Bush to the false info

deertracker

Was Obama the president in 1996?

shucks

There are at LEAST two words that describe a Republican :

1. ignorant

2. hypocrite

Huron_1969

ummm, you're really asking that question ???

the point is it has nothing to do with Obama or Bush, and really Clinton wasn't a factor either. It's one of those rare moments when Congress put something together that has reason and purpose and is not a welfare handout. Yet the media labeled this as the Obama Phone and so many people believe it without knowing the facts

deertracker

You mean so many cons and Obama haters believe it!

KURTje

"Alls youse guys godda do is work for $16.00 an hour + 5K deductible on yer medical."

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