Speaking during a visit to the
"The truth of matter is, there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in the
Obama's visit was part of a strategy to have the president keep publicly discussing the shutdown, although there appear to be no talks, public or private, on ending it. Obama and his aides put the onus on Boehner, saying he needs first reopen the government and address the crisis around the corner — lifting the debt ceiling — before negotiations can begin. The federal government is due to hit the ceiling around Oct. 17, risking the first federal default in modern history.
“He is willing to negotiate on
White House spokesman
The president's position "has not been raise the debt ceiling for a certain amount of time," Carney said. "It has been raise the debt ceiling without drama or delay."
A short-term increase might be an easier sell for Boehner as he tries to bring the most conservative faction of House members to vote in favor a debt limit increase.
Boehner says he wants to attempt to extract budget concessions in return for the increase. "I'm not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up. It would be irresponsible of me to do this," he told ABC News "This Week" on Sunday.
On Monday, Obama said he would not "negotiate under the threat of economic catastrophe."
Speaking from a conference room at FEMA, Obama said 86% of the agency's staff had been furloughed and others are on the job without pay for the time being. Obama said the U.S. "dodged a bullet" so far this hurricane season, but pointed to a tornado warning in the mid-Atlantic region as evidence of the dangers of hobbling FEMA.
As Obama spoke, House Republicans noted that the president has threatened to veto legislation that would fully reopen FEMA. The legislation passed the GOP-led House last week, as part of Republicans' push to reopen pieces of the government. Senate Democrats and the White House have blocked what they dubbed a "piecemeal" approach to funding the government, saying the bills the House passed are only meant to provide political cover.
"All of this piecemeal stuff begs the question: Why not just open the government?" Carney said.