WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday called U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, saying he was willing to negotiate with Republicans after the threats of government shutdown and debt default are removed.
"The President telephoned Speaker John Boehner from the Oval Office and repeated what he told him when they met at the White House last week: the President is willing to negotiate with Republicans -- after the threats of government shutdown and default have been removed -- over policies that Republicans think would strengthen the country," the White House said in a readout of the phone call.
"The President also repeated his willingness to negotiate on priorities that he has identified including policies that expand economic opportunity, support private sector job creation, enhance the competitiveness of American businesses, strengthen the Affordable Care Act and continue to reduce the nation's deficit," noted the readout.
"Citing the Senate's intention to pass a clean, yearlong extension of the debt limit this week, the President also pressed the Speaker to allow a timely up-or-down vote in the House to raise the debt limit with no ideological strings attached. He noted that only Congress has the authority to raise the debt limit and failure to do so would have grave consequences for middle class families and the American economy as a whole," according to the readout.
With the ongoing government shutdown starting on Oct. 1, Washington faces another fiscal deadline as U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has told Congress that the federal government will reach its debt ceiling of 16.7 trillion U.S. dollars by Oct. 17, and failure to raise it by Congress would lead to a catastrophic default. However, Democrats and Republicans have not agreed on how big the borrowing authority increase should be and what conditions may be attached to it.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday during the White House press briefing that a long-term debt ceiling increase that averts another confrontation like the current one for a longer period of time is a good thing.