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White House: No 'venom' toward tea party despite clashes

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The White House in recent days has hammered tea party Republicans in the House for their role in the government shutdown, but that apparently doesn’t mean the administration harbors any deep-seated ill will toward the group.

“There’s no venom here” toward the tea party, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Friday afternoon. “If there are members of the House who won’t vote to open the government, they should vote no, and I suspect they will. It’s a small faction; they should vote how they see fit, of course. But we’re confident … that if the speaker puts that bill on the floor, it would pass with Democratic and Republican votes.”

On day four of the federal shutdown, the administration continued pressing GOP House Speaker John Boehner to put on the floor of the House a “clean” bill that would reopen the government at current spending levels but does not contain any other strings, including provisions to repeal, defund or delay Obamacare.

Negotiations to reopen the government continue on Capitol Hill, but the two sides remain far apart.

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About the Author
Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.

Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.

He can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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