About an hour after President Obama made his case to the country, Speaker John Boehner stood before a podium for the second time on Tuesday to say he was standing his ground and that he was “disappointed” that Obama would not negotiate.
Then, Boehner issued a statement that seemed to directly challenge Obama: “There’s going to be a negotiation here,” Boehner said.
If you’ve not been paying attention: Republicans and Democrats have reached an epic deadlock that’s already shut down the government and has now transitioned into a fight over the debt ceiling.
It all started when Republicans insisted on either defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act by inserting language into the bill that funds government operations. That impasse shut down the government, and now Republicans want to negotiate over the broader fiscal condition of the country, or they say they will not extend the country’s authority to borrow money.
Earlier, Obama said he was happy to negotiate with Republicans, only if they reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling without preconditions.
Boehner said that amounted to demanding an “unconditional surrender” by Republicans and that would simply not happen.
“I want a conversation,” Boehner said. He said over the course of history, presidents have negotiated with the opposing party over government funding, and this is no different.
What’s more, many of those negotiations ended in major policy changes, he said. This is what the Republican party is looking for now.
All this means that neither Republicans nor Democrats are budging. It means there’s apparently no end in sight to the shutdown, and the prospects of avoiding an unprecedented government default look bleak.