D.C. awash with blame game as Hill leaders head to White House

Credit: Getty Images

The United States Capitol building is seen as Congress remains gridlocked over legislation to continue funding the federal government. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)


by NBC News


Posted on October 2, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 2 at 8:59 PM

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans advanced a series of measures on Wednesday to reinstate funding for some of the most visible consequences of the government shutdown as congressional leaders huddled with President Barack Obama at the end of the shutdown's second business day.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talks about Wednesday's meeting at the White House between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders.

Washington remained awash in a blame game with no solution to the shutdown in sight. Obama said he had already "bent over backwards" during his presidency to work with Republicans, and purposefully held back in his rhetoric toward the GOP.

"Am I exasperated? Absolutely I'm exasperated," the president told CNBC's John Harwood. "Because this is entirely unnecessary."

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Obama's remarks came hours before he met with congressional leaders from both parties: House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Also set to join were Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the latter of whom was expected to brief lawmakers about the consequences of possibly defaulting on the national debt later this month.

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But the meeting seemed unlikely to immediately yield a breakthrough; the White House suggested Obama would likely renew his demand that the House pass a clean extension of government spending.

Still, House Republican leaders were unswerving in their strategy through Wednesday's standoff. Despite a veto threat from Obama, GOP leaders held a series of votes to approve a series of mini-spending bills to fund popular programs shuttered as a consequence of the lapse in government spending.

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