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No End In Sight For Government Shutdown

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One week into the partial shutdown of the federal government, President Obama is digging in his heels.  In a White House news conference, the President said he is willing to negotiate with House Republicans but not until they agree to end the shutdown and raise the federal debt ceiling.  The U.S. government faces possible default if the debt ceiling is not raised by October 17th.  Obama argued, “We can’t make extortion routine as part of our democracy.”  He called the shutdown a “manufactured crisis.”

Obama insisted that Congress has an obligation to fund government operations and prevent defaults.  He said the debt ceiling does not add a dime to the federal deficit.  Obama stressed that boosting the debt limit allows the government to pay bills that Congress has already racked up.  He noted that the debt ceiling has been raised 45 times since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.  The President insisted that Republican lawmakers will not be allowed to demand a “ransom in exchange for doing their jobs.”  Democrats have accused House Republicans of holding the government hostage in an ongoing effort to repeal, defund or delay the healthcare reform law.

 GOP House Speaker John Boehner calls himself disappointed by President Obama’s negotiating position. In a statement near his Capitol office, Boehner said the President’s stand is “not sustainable.”

The U.S. government faces possible default if the debt ceiling is not raised by October 17th.  Boehner said it is time to start a conversation but he vowed not to sit down with Democrats and “surrender.”  Republicans insist on linking a debt ceiling hike to further spending cuts and they aim to continue efforts to derail the healthcare reform law.  (Metro Networks, Inc)

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