House Republican leaders said Tuesday they were waiting on Democrats to sit down with them to carve out a deal to resolve their differences and reopen the government, further escalating the fingerprinting on Capitol Hill over who is responsible for the political stalemate.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, said the showdown “silliness” has to stop, not long after the Democratic-led Senate rejected the House’s latest offer to enter into negotiations over a spending bill.
“None of us want to be in shutdown, and we are here to say to the Senate Democrats, ‘Come talk to us — this is how we resolve our differences,’” Mr. Cantor said, sitting alongside the other GOP lawmakers who have been appointed to hash out their differences with the Senate Democrats.
In March, Senate Democrats passed a budget for the first time in four years, bowing to the demands of House Republicans.
But up until this point, House Republicans had refused to meet with Democrats in a conference committee, where the two parties traditionally have hammered out their differences.
Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and House Budget Committee chairman, said House lawmakers have been reluctant to go to conference because they didn’t want to get a bad budget deal.
“We wanted to go to a budget conference when we thought we had more likelihood of getting an agreement,” Mr. Ryan told reporters. “If we went prematurely, that would decrease the likelihood we would have gotten a budget agreement.”