Obama, Boehner Trade Blame, Again, for Shutdown Showdown

Washington's impasse over the government shutdown is nowhere near being solved, if continued sparring between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday are any indication. In remarks at the White House Tuesday, Obama called for Boehner to "stop the excuses" and again demanded he hold a vote on a clean bill to "end this shutdown right now," warning that it makes the U.S. "look like we don't have our act together." On the eighth day of the shutdown, he said Republicans had decided to "run out the clock" thinking that it would give them more leverage. "We can't make extortion routine as part of our democracy," he said, after calling Boehner earlier in the day to reiterate that he wouldn't negotiate on funding the government or raising the debt ceiling. (That must happen by Oct. 17, lest the U.S. risk defaulting on its debts.) But in his own remarks Tuesday, Boehner slammed Obama and Senate Democrats for refusing to negotiate and urged them to agree to talks. "The long and short of it is, there's going to be a negotiation here," he said. "The conversation ought to start today."

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