- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 8, 2013

President Obama called Speaker John A. Boehner Tuesday morning, but only to repeat his refusal to bargain on bills to reopen the government and raise the nation’s borrowing limit.

Mr. Obama called to “reiterate that he won’t negotiate on a government funding bill or debt limit increase,” Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said.

The call came shortly after Mr. Boehner said he’s open to negotiations.

“All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a conversation,” he said. “There’s no reason to make it more difficult to bring people to the table. There’s no boundaries here, there’s nothing on the table, there’s nothing off the table. I’m trying to do everything I can to bring people together and have a conversation.”

Meanwhile, the White House said Mr. Obama will make a statement in the press briefing room at 2 p.m. and will take questions from reporters.

The White House said in a statement that Mr. Obama again urged Mr. Boehner to hold a vote in the House on a Senate-passed measure that would re-open the federal government immediately.

“Citing the Senate’s intention to pass a clean, yearlong extension of the debt limit this week, the president also pressed the speaker to allow a timely up-or-down vote in the House to raise the debt limit with no ideological strings attached,” the White House said.

The president said failing to raise the debt limit by Oct. 17 would have “grave consequences” for middle-class families and the overall economy.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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