Shutdown continues as lawmakers, Obama fail to reach deal

Negotiations to reopen the government and raise the nation's debt ceiling yield no agreement but are expected to continue into the weekend. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, has asked House Republicans to take the lead.
by Chris Casteel Published: October 12, 2013
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Coburn on meeting

The president met at the White House on Friday with Senate Republicans, who are in the minority in the Senate and have been largely on the sidelines during the 11-day partial shutdown of the federal government.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, described the meeting as “very civil” but mostly unproductive.

“(Obama) didn't tell us what he wants” in a deal, Coburn said. “He told us what he wouldn't do.”

Some Senate Republicans offered to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling for several months in exchange for repealing the tax on medical devices that was part of the Affordable Care Act.

Coburn said Obama shouldn't have to negotiate with two different groups and that House Republicans should take the lead “since they're in control.” He also said Republicans shouldn't agree to raise the debt limit without something in return.

“That's the only leverage we've got,” he said. “I don't think we should give that up.”

Coburn has downplayed the impact of breaching the debt limit and has argued that the government could pay bills for some time with the money that comes in each day.

But Reid said Friday that defaulting on the debt would “spark a global recession.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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