With a little more than a week before a government shutdown, Republicans have stated that they only want Obama as a negotiating partner when it comes to budget talks, rather than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-Calif., The Hill
“They think they can get a better deal from Obama,” said Darrell West, director of the governance studies program at the Brookings Institution. “When you look at past negotiations, Obama often has been willing to compromise on Democratic principles in ways his congressional counterparts have not been willing to do,”
However, after meeting with the president on Thursday, Pelosi and Reid told reporters that they have come to an agreement in regards to budget. But, Republicans, who since the midterm elections have control of the Senate, believe that Obama should have to deal with them directly.
"We've been disappointed that Republican leaders in Congress have not accepted the Democrats' invitation to engage in serious budget negotiations,” spokesman Josh Earnest said. “We believe those kinds of negotiations are required to find common ground to avert a government shutdown and just as importantly make sure that or national security and economic priorities are adequately funded.”
With an Oct. 1 deadline quickly approaching, the Hill notes that the Democrats want to combine spending talks with negotiations over a multi-year transportation bill.
"I’m willing to work with anybody but they have to make the decision on how they’re going to put this together and we’re waiting to hear from them,” Sen. Patty Murray D-Wash., told The Hill.
And, referring to a 16-day government shut down two years ago, Murray added, "skip the government shutdown this time and let us go straight to bipartisan negotiations.”
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