By Justin Sink - 09/30/13 05:20 PM EDT
President Obama said Monday that he was “not at all resigned” to a government shutdown.
Obama said there was “a pretty straightforward solution” to the spending battle, and implored lawmakers to “set aside the short-term politics” and reach a compromise.
“Congress has two responsibilities: to pass a budget, to pay the bills,” Obama said after a meeting in the Oval Office with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The White House and Democrats have rejected House GOP measures to delay or defund ObamaCare, which Republicans have attached to short-term spending measures.
Obama insisted he expected to speak with congressional leaders “today, tomorrow, and the next day,” but so far the shutdown showdown has been characterized by a lack of talks.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) haven’t had a meeting, and Boehner has had not talks with Obama. Reid reportedly advised Obama not to call a meeting of congressional leaders last week.
Republicans have criticized Obama for not negotiating, while the White House has slammed Republicans as hostage-takers threatening to hurt the economy by shutting down the government.
Obama on Monday said he was “not only open to but eager” to have negotiations around a long-term budget deal, but that would require “everyone to sit down in good faith.”
Shortly after Obama’s comments, White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer criticized Republicans as unwilling to negotiate during an interview with MSNBC.
“They don't want a negotiation,” Pfeiffer said. “They want to give us a list of demands.”