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Speaker of the House John Boehner and other House and Senate leaders went into a meeting with President Barack Obama Wednesday with marching orders from the rabid right wing of the Republican Party to stand firm and “not give an inch” and then came out of the 90 minute session and, as expected, accused the President of not negotiating.
“The President reiterated one more time tonight that he will not negotiate,” Boehner said after the meeting.
When asked by a reporter if he, as the leader of the Republican Party that controls the House, offered to negotiate, Boehner looked away and said nothing.
Sources close to the Speaker, however, confirmed to Capitol Hill Blue Wednesday that Boehner was directed by conservative Republicans to “not compromise” and “not agree to anything that did not include cutting off government funding of Obamacare.”
“House conservatives don’t care if the government remains shut down for the rest of the year or if the nation defaults on its debt,” a GOP house aide told Capitol Hill Blue. “If Obamacare doesn’t go we don’t give an inch.”
Obama went into the meeting with little hope for a settlement.
“This time is different,” the President said in an interview with CNBC in response to a question on whether or not investors should assume a deal was close on the budget or the debt. “I think they should be concerned. When you have a situation in which such a faction is willing potentially to default on U.S. government obligations then we are in trouble. And if they’re willing to do it now, they’ll be willing to do it later.”
The government is expected to reach its debt limit by Oct. 17 but Republican sources say the party really doesn’t care if American defaults.
“Obamacare has to go,” one Republican said. “Without that we will just set and let things collapse.”
Sources also say that House Republican plans to approve funding for piecemeal items like opening war memorials and programs that aid children fighting cancer come not from a desire to help Americans but to look for ways to embarrass the President if he vetoes such actions.
Obama has promised to veto any funding bill that does not approve current level funding for the government overall with no strings attached.
“We know such bills don’t stand a chance but we just hope they can be used to increase public disapproval of Obama,” says one GOP aide.
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