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Reid to Boehner: As leaders we have an ‘obligation’ to fund government

Reid said he understands that Boehner is experiencing fierce pressure from the right wing of his party not to cave by holding a vote on a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government.

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“It’s the Tea Party,” Reid said. “These voices in his caucus push him further to right and over the cliff.”

Reid said back in 2007 he was pressured by left groups such as Move On and even his own staff to defund the government in order to stop the Iraq War, but that despite his personal feelings about the war, he decided to fund the government.

“I felt that I had other responsibilities. One was to make sure that our government was funded, that we didn’t loose face in front of the internationally community and not resort to extremist legislative tactics,” Reid said. “So we funded the war and funded the government ... but looking back on that decision, I came to the right decision in my own mind.

“Unfortunately Speaker Boehner faced with a similar situation made a different decision.”

House Republicans have tried to attach riders to defund and delay ObamaCare, but Senate Democrats have said they will only accept a “clean” CR. The government has been shut down since midnight Monday.

Congressional leaders are expected to meet with President Obama at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to try to work out a deal.

It's unclear where the fight will go from here, with both sides digging in for the first government shutdown since 1997. And in nearly two weeks lawmakers will need to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling so the government can pay its bills.