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Obama Meets With Congressional Leaders To Discuss Government Crisis

Sara Newman |
October 2, 2013 | 6:43 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer


Obama meets with Congressional leaders at the White House, photo by Whoopie Cat via Creative Commons
Obama meets with Congressional leaders at the White House, photo by Whoopie Cat via Creative Commons
On Wednesday President Obama invited the four key congressional leaders—Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell— to the White House in an attempt to convince the House to raise the debt ceiling ahead of the Oct. 17 deadline and to pass a stopgap funding bill that would allow federal agencies to resume for the time being. 

With such a fiercely divided government, no headway has been made so far.

The president “reiterated tonight he will not negotiate,” said Republican Speaker John A. Boehner. “All we’re asking for here is a discussion and fairness for the American people under Obamacare.While Boehner accuses the unwavering president of being unreasonable, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is proud of Obama for being “strong, strong, strong.”

The president made it very clear that he will not negotiate major budget issues until his two conditions are met; but the longer the stalemate continues, the more difficult it will be to reach a resolution. This is no longer just an issue of serving constituents, but a matter of pride and political might.

"Am I exasperated? Absolutely I'm exasperated. Because this is entirely unnecessary," Obama told CNBC television. "I am exasperated with the idea that unless I say to 20 million people, 'You can't have health insurance,' these folks will not reopen the government. That is irresponsible."

As politicians become increasingly obstinate, however, the issue of raising the debt ceiling becomes increasingly pressing. 

Unless Congress raises the debt ceiling in the next 15 days, the nation will make history by defaulting on its loans for the very first time.

Contact Executive Producer Sara Newman here. Follow her here



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