Congressional leaders reported no progress after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House for nearly an hour and a half Wednesday night on the topics of re-opening the federal government and lifting the debt ceiling, which must be raised Oct. 17 before the U.S. defaults on its obligations.
“The president reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters outside the White House, describing his conversation with the president as “nice” and “polite.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was equally unmoved, saying all Republicans had to do was pass a resolution funding the entire government.
“We have the debt ceiling staring us in the face, and he wants to go to conference over a short-term continuing resolution?” he said. “My friend John Boehner cannot take ‘yes’ for an answer.”
The House passed Wednesday two partial spending bills, less than 24 hours after piecemeal measures failed to clear the chamber, funding the National Park Service and the National Institutues of Health. Senate Democratic leaders have already said the bills won’t clear that chamber, and the White House has threatened to veto them.