(USA TODAY) -- President Obama said Monday he is "eager and ready" to negotiate with
Republicans on the budget and other issues, but not until the House GOP
votes to reopen the government and increase the debt ceiling.
happy to talk to Republicans about anything related to the budget,"
Obama said during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency,
where he took his campaign against the shutdown, which is in its seventh
Though about 200 FEMA staff members were recalled from
furlough - some without pay - to prepare for Tropical Storm Karen in the
Gulf of Mexico, at least 100 of them will have to be refurloughed,
"They are having to, under less than optimal
situations, still respond to Mother Nature, which doesn't stop just
because the government has shut down," Obama said as he praised the FEMA
Noting that Tropical Storm Karen dissipated, Obama said, "We dodged a bullet there."
STORY: Shutdown enters second week, no end in sight
Obama again called on the Republican-run House to pass a spending plan and raise the debt ceiling with no conditions.
must raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling before the government hits
it Oct. 17. Otherwise, Obama said, the government will have to default
on its debts.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other
Republicans want to negotiate provisions to a spending and a debt
ceiling bill, including a one-year delay in Obama's health care plan.
In a statement, Boehner said that "the president's refusal to negotiate is hurting our economy and putting our country at risk."
his visit to FEMA, Obama again called on Boehner to put a "clean"
spending bill on the House floor, predicting it would pass.
spokesman Brendan Buck noted that the House passed a limited bill that
would have restored FEMA funding, but Obama threatened to veto it, and
the Democratic-run Senate defeated it.
The FEMA visit was an
addition to the schedule for Obama, who was supposed to be in Indonesia
on Monday for an Asian economic summit.
Obama canceled a week-long trip to Asia because of the shutdown.
First Coast News