Lift ‘Threats,’ Obama Insists, Spurning Talks

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from The New York Times,

President Obama intensified his pressure on House Republicans on Tuesday, calling on them to “lift these threats from our families and our businesses” as the federal government remained shuttered into a second week and the possibility that the United States would default on its debts grew closer.

Mr. Obama, holding firm to the position he first took more than a year ago, said at a lengthy news conference that he would not negotiate over the essential act of raising the nation’s debt limit or offer concessions to the Republican-led House to finance and reopen the government.

But he raised the possibility of reopening the government and raising the debt limit in the short term to allow negotiations, a development Republicans saw as positive. “If they can’t do it for a long time, do it for the period of time in which these negotiations are taking place,” he said.

Congress has a constitutional responsibility to both finance the government and keep it solvent, Mr. Obama said, and once the House acts, he will talk.

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