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Reid: No plans to talk to Republicans on shutdown

Sept. 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- The Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate said Thursday he has no intention of talking to the Republican House leader to avert a government shutdown.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday he hasn't had any conversation with Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, about avoiding a government shutdown and doesn't plan to.

"Send us a clean [continuing resolution], a clean debt ceiling [bill]," Reid told reporters. "That's the path forward. There's no need for conversations [with Boehner and others]. We've spoken loudly and clearly, and we have the support of the president of the United States."

Facing a 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1 deadline, Reid and other Democrats have refused to negotiate with House Republicans over GOP plans to defund or partially repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Meanwhile, U.S. House Republicans plan to demand a one-year delay in healthcare reform in return for a higher federal borrowing limit, National Review reported.

The conservative publication said Thursday it has obtained a draft of the bill dated Wednesday provided by Capitol Hill aides to a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, although a GOP leadership aide said the document was still subject to change.

The report said House Republican leaders plan to hold a vote as early as Saturday on the bill, which would suspend the debt limit until 2015. The bill will include a long list of conservatives' demands including fast-tracking tax reform, approval of construction for the Keystone Pipeline, rolling back Environmental Protection Agency carbon regulations, subjecting Medicare recipients to means testing and repealing the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

The fund is a provision of the Affordable Care Act that is required to be spent on "expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public healthcare costs."

White House press secretary Jay Carney mocked the list of GOP demands, telling reporters Thursday, "The only thing I didn't see was a birther bill attached to it."

President Barack Obama said Thursday Republicans are "threatening either to shut down the government or shut down the entire economy by refusing to let America pay its bills for the first time in history, unless I agree to gut a law that will help millions of people."

"That's not going to happen as long as I'm president. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay," he said.

The report came as Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill Republicans will not accept a so-called clean spending bill from the Senate, increasing the chance of a federal government shutdown after Sept. 30, The Hill reported.

"I don't see that happening," Boehner said, referring to a clean bill.

The Hill said Boehner's comments mirror a new consensus among senior House Republicans.

The Democrat-dominated Senate is expected to strip the House Republican provision to defund the ACA -- commonly known as Obamacare. The Hill said that gives the House little time to avoid a shutdown.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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