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POLITICS: PennAve

Obama calls John Boehner, says he still won't negotiate

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Barack Obama,House of Representatives,John Boehner,Debt Ceiling,PennAve,Budgets and Deficits,Government Shutdown

President Obama phoned Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Tuesday but again refused to negotiate around ending the government shutdown or raising the debt ceiling.

A White House readout of the call said that Obama "repeated what he told [Boehner] when they met at the White House last week: the President is willing to negotiate with Republicans -- after the threat of government shutdown and default have been removed – over policies that Republicans think would strengthen the country."

Obama told Boehner it was Congress' responsibility to re-open the federal government, calling for a House vote on a clean continuing resolution, and to raise the nation's debt limit before an Oct. 17 deadline.

"He noted that only Congress has the authority to raise the debt limit and failure to do so would have grave consequences for middle class families and the American economy as a whole," said the White House.

"The president called the speaker again today to reiterate that he won't negotiate on a government funding bill or debt limit increase,” Brendan Buck, a Boehner spokesman, confirmed.

Buck dismissively labeled the conversation “news ... or what passes for it.”

With the government shutdown in its second week — and the deadline for reaching the nation’s debt limit just more than a week away — neither the White House nor congressional Republicans have moved from their firmly entrenched positions.

The White House has signaled it would be open to a limited increase in the debt ceiling but has not put forward a framework for ending the impasse. Obama has said he is happy to negotiate on budget issues and on his healthcare reform law once the federal government completely reopens and the debt ceiling is raised.

Republicans counter that Obama is ignoring numerous examples of both parties negotiating around increasing the nation’s borrowing capacity.

This story was published at 11:36 a.m. and has been updated.

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