Obama demands House vote to end shutdown

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October 7, 2013, 4:40 pm
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(NBC News: Steve Handelsman) - It's week two of the partial government shutdown, and, in Washington, President Obama insisted on a vote to end it, insisting the bill would pass. But no vote's been called.

The big issues seem far from settled, but back pay for everyone looks likely and some government workers are already returning.

Declared essential, more than 300,000 civilian defense department employees were back on the job at the Pentagon.

Thus was Scott Air Force Base in Illinois and MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

But as the remnants of Hurricane Karen swept east, FEMA workers called back for the storm last week were being re-furloughed and sent home.

At FEMA headquarters, President Obama demanded a house vote to end the standoff.

"The truth of the matter is there are enough republican and democratic votes in the House of Representatives right now to end this shutdown," the President said.

A couple dozen house republicans agree, but Speaker John Boehner will not allow a vote.

The shutdown's trapping crabbing crews without permits or weather forecasts, but the Conservative Heritage Foundation, in a web ad, is warning vulnerable democrats on healthcare:
“Why won't Mark Pryor stop the shutdown and defund Obamacare?”

A democratic ad looks to the next clash:
“Now tea party republicans are threatening an economic shutdown.”

Threats won't work, vowed the president. Hike the debt ceiling.

"As soon as that happens I am eager and ready to sit down and negotiate," Obama said.

Boehner sounded stunned.

"This morning a senior White House official said that the president would rather default than to sit down and negotiate... Really?"

It’s week two of the shutdown with 10 days 'til default and no deal on either in sight.

The House has approved back pay for the half million federal workers still furloughed. The senate and the White House say they'll approve that, raising the question: why not just call them back to work?

Tags: FEMA, furlough, debt ceiling, Obamacare, government shutdown, house speaker john boehner, Steve Handelsman, NBC news
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