WASHINGTON – The political standoff that has gummed up the government for nine days showed no sign of ending Wednesday as Democratic leaders dug deeper into their position that they would not negotiate with
House Minority Leader
Pelosi, in a statement, said Democrats had agreed to lower the budget figure to $986 billion, the Republicans' baseline spending level, and begin a conference to delve into exactly where government spending would be cut. She said she had 200 House Democrats who would accept the cuts.
But in exchange, Democrats want the Republicans to drop efforts to derail the
“We were disappointed the speaker did not take ‘yes’ for an answer,” Pelosi said. The No. 2 ranking House members from both parties,
The two sides couldn't even agree on who called the meeting. Pelosi said Boehner asked her to meet. Boehner's office said Democrats called the huddle.
"We're willing to meet with any Democratic leader who is willing to talk," Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said in a statement.
On the other side of the Capitol on Wednesday,
"We want the House to pass the bill that the speaker told me he would help us pass. He didn't say he would help us pass it, he said he would pass it," Reid said.
Reid did not budge from the party's position that the government start up again before he is willing to give any concessions to Republicans. "Democrats stand before you united, united to have the Republicans reopen the government, pay our bills, then we'll negotiate," he said.
As a Democratic senator from Virginia,
They want the Senate to unlock the
Reid, shaking hands with Washington Mayor
Republican House leaders will meet with Obama at the White House on Thursday. Obama invited the entire House Republican caucus, but the Republicans decided that their leaders would represent them.
Obama has said that Republicans are holding the country hostage for political gain and warned there would be economic aftershocks if Congress didn’t raise the