Emerging from a White House meeting with President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he is not willing to negotiate with House Republicans until they agree to pass a clean spending bill to reopen the government, despite their offer to pass a short-term extension of the debt limit.
“Not going to happen,” Reid told reporters, when asked if he would engage in negotiations while the government remains shut down.
“The government should be open now. We should be able to pay our debt, and as we’ve said and we’ll continue to say… if that happens, we’ll negotiate on anything — anything — and the president confirmed that today,” he said.
Reid said the Senate would look “clearly” and “closely” at the House proposal to extend the debt ceiling for six weeks when they receive it.
“This is a situation where they do not know what they want,” he said. “I hope the Republicans decide what they want, and we’ll be happy to work with them in any way. I repeat … Open the government; let us pay our bills; we’ll negotiate with you about anything.”
The president is meeting shortly at the White House with House Republican leaders.