President Barack Obama said Monday before the government shutdown that he “shouldn’t have to offer anything” to Republicans in order to avert the crisis.
“They’re not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do,” Obama told NPR’s Steve Inskeep in an interview recorded Monday afternoon. “That’s part of their basic function of government; that’s not doing me a favor. That’s doing what the American people sent them here to do, carrying out their responsibilities.”
“I have said consistently that I am always happy to talk to Republicans and Democrats about how we shape a budget that is investing in things like early-childhood education, rebuilding our roads and bridges … But we’re not going to accomplish those things if one party to this conversation says that the only way that they come to the table is if they get 100 percent of what they want, and if they don’t, they threaten to burn down the house,” he continued. “That’s not a negotiation.”
The president said it was “unfortunate” that House Republicans were not getting closer to a bill he would consider signing and reiterated that he would not delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as part of budget negotiations.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.