Just hours before a government shutdown (and three days after calling Iranian President Hassan Rouhani), “no negotiation” President Obama picked up the phone and called congressional leaders. It sounded more like a talking-to than a negotiation, though, as detailed by the White House:
This evening, the President placed separate calls to Senate Majority Leader Reid, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi. The President made clear that Congress has two jobs to do: pay the bills on time and pass a budget on time. Failure to fulfill those responsibilities is harmful to our economy, small businesses and middle class families across the country.
The President made clear to the Republican Leadership that they must act, as the Senate has, to pass the bill that funds the government for six weeks that doesn’t include any extraneous ideological riders. The President urged the House to bring up this clean Continuing Resolution for a vote tonight to keep the government open and avoid a shutdown.
The President reinforced with the Republican Leaders that he will continue to oppose any politically-motivated attempts to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act, attempts which would never pass the Senate or become law. And he reiterated that he will not negotiate on the debt limit: Congress must pay the bills it has already incurred and avoid a devastating blow to our economy.
The President expressed his gratitude to the Democratic Leaders for their efforts to support and pass a clean bill that funds the government at current levels, and made clear that leaders in Washington have a responsibility to do more than just avert disaster. That’s why the President will continue to work with members in both parties to pass a budget that protects the kinds of investments we need to grow the economy, create good jobs and build a better bargain for the middle class.