Democrats reject 'piecemeal' GOP offer on government shutdown
While the selective funding approach appeared to unite conservative and moderate Republicans for now, the White House said Obama would veto it. Democrats who control the Senate said they would reject it before it reached Obama's desk.
"The White House position is unsustainably hypocritical," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner.
An even bigger battle looms in coming weeks, when Congress must raise the debt limit or risk a default that could roil global markets.
Obama accused Republicans of taking the government hostage in order to sabotage his signature health care law.
"They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden.
He added, "We hope that Senate Democrats — and President Obama — change course and start working with us on behalf of the American people."
"Clearly the Senate has demonstrated that it is not willing to engage in the legislative process, and that is why I think the House and the speaker took the position of appointing conferees, so that we can actually get down to business and talk through our differences," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
"Part of the reason we're against Obamacare in the first place was there were a lot of closed-door meetings instead of business being conducted in the light of day," said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, who said she fears that a House-Senate conference wouldn't be transparent. "I've heard that conference meetings would be open to the public. But I've heard that prior to having the meetings there are a lot of back-door deals."
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