“When do (Democrats) recognize that reality and people sit down and start negotiating?” he said.
Meanwhile, House Republicans continued to pass temporary spending bills for specific aspects of the government — an approach that has mostly been rejected by the Senate and the president. Friday, the House passed a bill to fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Women, Infant and Children program that provides nutrition assistance.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama remains opposed to “the piecemeal, gimmicky approach that the House Republicans have taken.”
Carney said, “They should just reopen the government, right? The president is not asking for anything in return. He didn't say, I'll only sign a bill to reopen the government if you include legislation that would expand background checks, something he believes very powerfully.”
The administration is supporting a bill that the House plans to take up Saturday morning to assure federal employees will be paid retroactively.
Congress passed legislation last week that was signed by the president to ensure military personnel were paid during the shutdown, and many lawmakers said that should have prevented any furloughs of Defense Department civilians or National Guard and Reserve members.
Though Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said Pentagon lawyers are studying the legislation, he has made no announcement about whether more workers can report to their jobs next week.
House Democrats have tried to use procedural moves to force a House vote on reopening the government with no conditions attached. Several Republicans have said they would vote for a so-called “clean” spending resolution, but most of those GOP members haven't been helping Democrats on the procedural tests.