President to House: 'We Won't Negotiate under Threat'

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As the budget battle continues in Washington, the U.S. government faces default on its debt and the possibility of missing social security payments.

But President Barack Obama told House Republicans seeking negotiations Tuesday that he's not budging.

Obama told reporters Tuesday that he's willing to negotiate with Republicans, but not until they pass a bill to end the government shutdown.

In a phone call today, Obama told Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, that he will not negotiate over reopening the government or over raising the debt ceiling to prevent a U.S. government default.

"We're not going to negotiate under the threat of economic catastrophe," Obama said Tuesday. "I'm not gonna do it until Republicans stop threatening... We can't make extortion routine."

House Republicans say that's unacceptable.

"There's never been a president who did not negotiate the debt ceiling," Boehner said at a press conference.

"By refusing the negotiate, the president is putting our country on a pretty dangerous path," he said.

Taking the floor Monday, Boehner called out the president for refusing to even discuss the options.

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

On Oct. 17, the United States is projected to default on its loans unless Congress votes to allow the country to borrow more money.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Democrats will not negotiate over the debt ceiling.

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Republican Sen. Rand Paul said. "It's irresponsible of the president and his men to even talk about default. There is no reason for us to default. So this is a game."

"This is kind of like closing the World War II Memorial," he continued. "They all get out on TV and they say, 'We're going to default.' They're the ones scaring the marketplace. We shouldn't scare the marketplace. We should never default."

The Social Security Administration warned that in just nine days it will no longer be able to guarantee checks will go out. Nearly 60 million Americans get an average of about $280 a week in benefits.

Wall Street is anxiously watching, too. The markets finished down yesterday and opened lower again today.

But some analysts say that since the consequences of a government default are so bad, Washington won't let that happen.

"We think a resolution will be reached before we ever get to a default situation on U.S.debt," Alec Young, a global equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ, said.

Boehner has called on the president to agree to negotiations on changes to Obamacare and steps to curb deficits.

On Monday, China's vice financial minister stressed the importance of raising the U.S. debt limit, saying, "Safeguarding the debt is of vital importance to the economy of the U.S. and the world."

China holds more than $1.2 trillion in U.S. treasury bonds, second only to Japan.

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CBN News
Dale Hurd

Dale Hurd

CBN News Sr. Reporter

A CBN News veteran, Dale Hurd has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America.  Since 9/11, Dale has reported in depth on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe.  Follow Dale on Twitter @HurdontheWeb and "like" him at