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Obama: "I'm not at all resigned" to shutdown
CBS NEWS A day before money runs out for federal operations, President Obama on Monday said he's "not at all resigned" to a government shutdown.
"Congress has two responsibilities: Pass a budget, pay the bills," Mr. Obama told reporters after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "I am not only open to but eager to have negotiations around a long-term budget... But the only way to do that is for everybody to sit down in good faith without threatening to harm women, and veterans and children with a government shutdown."
Early Sunday morning, the Republican-led House passed a budget proposal that would keep the government open through mid-December but that would also impose a one-year delay of the Obamacare individual mandate, repeal the medical device tax that is part of Obamacare and repeal some women's health provisions included in Obamacare.
Democrats have unequivocally called the bill a non-starter, giving it no chance of passing in the Senate. The Democratic-led Senate last week passed a bill to keep the government funded for a few more months, without any provisions relating to Obamacare. On Monday, the Senate plans to vote on the latest House bill and strip it of the Obamacare-related language before sending it back to the House.
If the two chambers don't reach a deal by Tuesday, some federal operations will shut down. Behind closed doors Monday, Senate Republican leaders gauged whether there was any interest among Senate Republicans in passing a bill to extend federal funding for just one week. However, on the way to the Senate floor Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was asked if he is dead-set opposed to that temporary solution, and he said yes.
Senate Chaplain Barry Black opened Monday's session with a prayer for members of Congress to find some common ground.
"Lord, lead them away from the unfortunate dialectic of us versus them as they strive to unite for the common good for this land we love," he prayed. "Give them the determination to make the right things happen. ... Bless them with the courage to stand for something."