Spokesman: Obama Not Backing Down
WASHINGTON (AP) — His spokesman says President Barack Obama isn't backing down from his refusal to negotiate changes in the health care law in return for reopening the government.
Obama has called Democratic and Republican congressional leaders to the White House later today. Spokesman Jay Carney says he'll be impressing upon them the consequences of the shutdown, but won't be offering what Carney calls "concessions to Republicans in exchange for not tanking the economy."
House Speaker John Boehner's office had suggested the meeting was a sign that Obama is ready to yield. A spokesman for the speaker said Obama realized that "his refusal to negotiate is indefensible."
Also attending the meeting will be Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, and the Democratic leaders of the Senate and House, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
Reid today offered a new round of budget talks to House Republicans if they allow the government to reopen. But a spokesman for Boehner said he rejected the offer.