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President Obama calls Boehner, will speak at 2 p.m.

11:18 AM, Oct 8, 2013   |    comments
President Obama (Photo: Charles Dharapak, AP)
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(USA TODAY) -- President Obama called House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday, again telling the Ohio Republican he will not negotiate on budget items until the GOP-run House ends the shutdown and raises the debt ceiling.

President Obama also scheduled a White House statement on the budget shutdown for 2 p.m.; he will also take questions from reporters.

"The president is willing to negotiate with Republicans -- after the threat of government shutdown and default have been removed -- over policies that Republicans think would strengthen the country," said a White House readout of the 10:45 a.m. phone call to the House speaker.

The readout noted that Obama "repeated what he told (Boehner) when they met at the White House last week."

Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck confirmed the conversation, saying that "the president called the speaker again today to reiterate that he won't negotiate on a government funding bill or debt limit increase."

The government shutdown is now in its eighth day, as the White House and Congress continue to dispute a new spending plan.

The parties also face an Oct. 17 deadline for increasing the nation's $16.7 trillion debt ceiling; failure to do so could lead to a government default on its debts.

During an appearance Monday at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Obama pointed out that some House Republicans are seeking a delay of parts of the health care law as part of a new spending plan.

Obama said he is willing to discuss budget issues, but "I cannot do that under the threat that if Republicans don't get 100% of their way, they're going to either shut down the government or they are going to default on America's debt so that America for the first time in history does not pay its bills."

In its readout of the Boehner phone call, the White House said Obama "also repeated his willingness to negotiate on priorities that he has identified including policies that expand economic opportunity, support private sector job creation, enhance the competitiveness of American businesses, strengthen the Affordable Care Act and continue to reduce the nation's deficit."

Boehner, in a news conference, said the nation's leaders should sit down and discuss the budget impasse without conditions.

"All we're asking for is to sit down and have this conversation," he said.

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