Boehner: Obama gambling with economy by refusing to talk

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday that President Obama is putting the economy at risk by refusing to negotiate with Republicans over spending and the debt ceiling.

"The president's refusal to negotiate is hurting our economy and putting our country at risk," Boehner said on the House floor.

Boehner expressed disbelief at reports that Obama would rather see a debt default than talk to Republicans.

"This morning, a senior White House official this morning said that the president would rather default than to sit down and negotiate," he said. "Really?"

"The American people expect when their leaders have differences, and we're in a time of crisis, that we'll sit down and at least have a conversation," he added. "Really, Mr. President, it's time to have that conversation before our economy is put further at risk."

Boehner rarely speaks on the House floor, but this was his third appearance in the last week. It also follows a Sunday appearance on ABC's "This Week" in which he insisted he would not agree to bring a "clean" debt ceiling hike to the floor and argued it would not pass. 

Obama dared Boehner Monday to bring a clean measure to fund the government to the floor for a vote, and argued Boehner should prove that such a measure would not pass the House by holding the vote.

Obama, who has repeatedly said he would not negotiate with Republicans until they open the government and raise the debt ceiling, also said Boehner should bring up a clean debt ceiling bill. 

Boehner's remarks came as the federal government heads toward its second week of partial shutdown. With no agreement in sight on how to reopen the government, it seems more and more likely that the impasse will only be solved as part of a broader agreement that includes the debt ceiling.

The administration has set an Oct. 17 deadline for raising the debt ceiling.