President Barack Obama placed phone calls to all four Congressional leaders Monday night, but there appears to be no resolution in sight to a looming government shutdown.
The White House said that Obama called House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-Nev.), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Here is the key part of the White House’s readout, and one that suggests there’s still a wide gulf between the two parties:
The President made clear to the Republican Leadership that they must act, as the Senate has, to pass the bill that funds the government for six weeks that doesn’t include any extraneous ideological riders. The President urged the House to bring up this clean Continuing Resolution for a vote tonight to keep the government open and avoid a shutdown.
The President reinforced with the Republican Leaders that he will continue to oppose any politically-motivated attempts to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act, attempts which would never pass the Senate or become law. And he reiterated that he will not negotiate on the debt limit: Congress must pay the bills it has already incurred and avoid a devastating blow to our economy.
And here’s the readout from Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck:
“The president called the speaker this evening to discuss funding for the government and Obamacare. The speaker told the president that Obamacare is costing jobs and that American families are being denied basic fairness when big businesses are getting exemptions that they are not. The call lasted nearly 10 minutes.”
The House is in the process of moving forward a continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown that makes key alterations to Obamacare. It delays by one year the implementation of the individual mandate, and it includes language that would bar lawmakers, Congressional staffers, and administration staffers from receiving federal subsidies for health insurance under Obamacare.
If it passes through the House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the Senate will immediately reject the amendments.
The government will shut down on Tuesday if no agreement is reached.
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