President Barack Obama has invited congressional leaders to the White House to discuss reopening the government. The country is currently in its second day of a government shutdown as a result of a stalemate over a spending measure that funds the government and provisions in Obamacare.
Speaker of the House John Boehner and other Republicans have grumbled that Democrats refuse to negotiate on the healthcare reforms.
“We’re pleased the president finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible,” Brendan Buck , [a spokesman for Boehner] said. “It’s unclear why we’d be having this meeting if it’s not meant to be a start to serious talks between the two parties.” Obama and his party accuse Republicans of trying to extort them into defunding or delaying Obamacare by using as leverage the need to fund the government and increase the Treasury’s capacity to borrow money to pay U.S. bills. A White House official signaled Obama’s opposition to negotiating amid a government shutdown remained unchanged, saying the president’s message at his meeting with House and Senate leaders will be for Congress to pass a “clean” funding plan and debt ceiling measure with no Obamacare provisions attached.
The House of Representatives planned new votes Wednesday on spending measures that will funds programs such as national parks and veterans affairs resources.
As a result of the shutdown, President Obama canceled planned visits to Malaysia and the Philippines as part of a trip that will include the Associate of Southeast Asian Nations summit on Bali.
Tuesday the president referred to Republicans as “reckless” and said the goal of the shutdown “is to hinder government efforts to provide health insurance to 15% of the U.S. population that doesn’t have coverage.”
800,000 employees are currently unable to get paid due to the shutdown.