Don’t expect this political crisis to end anytime soon.
Speaker of the House John Boehner said on Tuesday that President Obama was demanding “unconditional surrender” from the GOP when he said earlier in the day that no negotiations will take place until the government is reopened and the debt ceiling is raised.
“That’s not the way our government works,” Boehner said just two hours after Obama held his own news conference.
Boehner said the House would not raise the debt ceiling without doing something to address the government’s borrowing problem.
“I certainly didn’t come here to default on our debt,” the Ohio Republican said, insisting there must be negotiations on reducing the country’s long term deficits. He called the Obama’s current position “unsustainable.”
Boehner added, “The long and short of it is there’s going to be a negotiation…The only way this is going to happen is to in fact have a conversation” that should start today.
Obama has called for a debt-limit increase without any conditions, but GOP leaders have refused to budge unless specific spending reductions are put in play in exchange for a debt-limit hike.
“We’re not going to pay ransom for America paying its bills. That’s something that should be non-negotiable,” said Obama, insisting GOP lawmakers “can’t make extortion routine…democracy doesn’t function this way,” as it could set a precarious precedent in the future.
The two leaders’ dueling statements come on day eight of the government shutdown and just nine days away from the country entering into default unless Congress can hammer out a deal.