Speaker John Boehner dismissed suggestions that the House could pursue a short-term debt-ceiling and government-funding bill to allow time for negotiations between House Republicans and President Obama, saying the president was only offering “unconditional surrender” for Republicans.
At a press conference earlier Tuesday afternoon, Obama offered a hint of a path forward, saying Republicans could pass a debt-ceiling bill that extended borrowing authority “for the period of time in which these negotiations are taking place.”
“What the president said today was, ‘if there’s unconditional surrender by Republicans, he’ll sit down and talk.’ That’s not the way our government works,” Boehner said in response. Earlier the Ohio Republican also said the negotiations should begin immediately: “Not next week. Not next month. The conversation ought to start today.”
It was a harsh reaction from Boehner, who was responding to an hour-long press conference in which Obama repeatedly called Republicans hostage-takers. The speaker also detailed numerous instances in which previous presidents have negotiated with Congress on budget matters.