Obama calls congressional leaders to the White House
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has summoned congressional leaders to the White House on this, the second day of a partial government shutdown.
House Speaker John Boehner's office says the invitation is a sign that the president might be backing down. A Boehner spokesman says Obama "finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible."
But an Obama adviser said the president would urge House Republicans to pass a spending bill that didn't include provisions on health care or other demands.
A spokesman for Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said, "Frankly, we're a little confused as to the purpose of this meeting." But McConnell and Boehner agreed to sit down with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and the Democratic leaders from the Senate and House, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
Meanwhile, there have been some rumblings from Republicans who want to reopen the government. GOP congressman Peter King is accusing lawmakers supported by the tea party of trying to "hijack" the Republican Party. And he said he believes a growing number of rank-and-file GOP lawmakers are tired of the shutdown.
But Republican leaders seem determined to press on, announcing plans to pass five bills to open popular parts of the government. The White House immediately promised a veto.