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Harry Reid Won’t Negotiate Until GOP Opens Government

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:25 p.m. | A House GOP offer to pass a six-week debt ceiling extension without reopening the government isn’t enough to jump-start stalled budget talks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters at the White House.

After meeting for about an hour and a half with President Barack Obama, CQ Roll Call asked Reid if he would be willing to negotiate on reopening the government as the GOP has demanded.

“Not going to happen,” Reid replied and walked off.

The White House backed Reid in a readout provided by the press office.

“The President and the Senate Democrats will continue to pursue reasonable discussions about our budget challenges after these manufactured crises end,” the White House statement said.

The Nevada Democrat also said the Senate would evaluate the House legislation on a short-term debt limit extension when it gets it. He said that House Republicans seem to change their minds by the hour.

“This is — 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 for the fourth time right here: Open the government. Let us pay our bills. We’ll negotiate with you about anything.”

House Republican leaders arrived at the White House around 4:20 p.m.

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