WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama called the top Republican in the GOP-controlled House on Tuesday, telling Speaker John Boehner once again that he won't negotiate over reopening the government or must-pass legislation to prevent a U.S. default on its obligations.
In the second week of the partial government shutdown, Obama's call, revealed by Boehner's office, came as the speaker softened the tone of his rhetoric in remarks to the media and as Democrats controlling the Senate planned to move quickly toward a vote to allow the government to borrow more money by raising the statutory limit on the federal debt.
"I want to have a conversation. I'm not drawing lines in the sand. It is time for us to just sit down and resolve our differences," said Boehner, R-Ohio.
He added: "There's no boundaries here. There's nothing on the table, there's nothing off the table."
For his part, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he is willing to negotiate over the budget but only after the government is funded and the debt ceiling lifted.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.