WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama renewed his calls on Republicans on Tuesday to vote on a bill in the House of Representatives to end the government shutdown and to increase the Federal debt limit without partisan strings attached, stating that allowing the United States to default on its obligations would be “insane” and irresponsible.
“Let’s lift these threats from our families and our businesses, and let’s get down to work,” Obama said in the White House briefing room before taking questions from reporters.“Let’s stop the excuses. Let’s take a vote in the House. Let’s end this shutdown right now.”
Obama said that he was holding firm that he could not negotiate concessions to the Republican-led House for it to perform Congress’s Constitutional responsibilities.
“I am happy to talk with him and other Republicans about anything,”Obama said of Speaker John A. Boehner, “not just issues I think are important but also issues that they think are important. But I also told him that having such a conversation, talks, negotiations shouldn’t require hanging the threats of a govt shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people.
“Think about it this way,” he added. “The American people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs.”
President Obama phoned Boehner earlier on Tuesday morning to urge him to allow a House vote on a budget bill without conditions, as Boehner called on the President to come to the negotiating table to resolve a spending standoff that has shuttered the government for eight days.
The competing pushes by the President and Boehner came after a closed-door meeting of House Republicans produced no new offers to resolve the spending stalemate and no plan for what to do about the fact that the Federal government is set to hit its borrowing limit next week.