The Washington Times - October 10, 2013, 07:48AM

Rep. Chris Van Hollen said Thursday that his fellow Democrats have been trying to negotiate over the federal budget since March, only to be rebuffed in the months leading up to the government shutdown.

Mr. Hollen, of Maryland, said President Obama put forward a budget plan earlier this year and that Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, put forward his, so they should have been able to appoint budget conferees, establish priorities and compromise.

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“We should shave been at the table since March, hashing those things out,” Mr. Van Hollen told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Last month, the GOP demanded a delay to aspects of Mr. Obama’s health care law. That demand seems to have faded of late, but the parties haven’t found a way to end the shutdown and extend the nation’s borrowing authority this month, a scenario that some say could result in default on the country’s debts.

“Our view is that you shouldn’t be tying raising the debt ceiling to any specific demand,” Mr. Van Hollen said.