October 9, 2013 - 09:22 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - U.S. President Obama has said he is willing to hold budget talks with Republicans, but not until they agree to lift "threats" against the economy, BBC News reported.
Republicans "don't get to demand ransom in exchange for doing their jobs,'' Obama said, by demanding concessions in policy before reopening government.
The U.S. government shut down last week when Congress failed to agree a budget.
Republican leaders on Tuesday, Oct 8, renewed their calls for Obama to open negotiations over ending the impasses.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner told reporters he was "disappointed that the president refuses to negotiate".
He said the president's position not to talk with Republicans "until [they] surrender" was not sustainable, and any discussions regarding the debt ceiling must address how the nation is "living beyond its means".
At the White House, Obama said he spoke to Boehner and was "happy to talk with him and other Republicans about anything".
But Obama said any negotiations on the ongoing government shutdown or the debt limit "shouldn't require hanging the threats of a shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people".
"We can't make extortion routine as part of our democracy," Obama said. "Democracy doesn't function this way. And this is not just for me. It's also for my successors in office, whatever party they're from."
He also warned of the repercussions of defaulting on the government's debt should Congress fail to raise the borrowing limit, currently set to be reached on October 17.
Obama said breaching the borrowing limit could disrupt capital markets, undermine international confidence in America, permanently increase the nation's borrowing costs, add to its deficits and debt, and pose the "significant risk of a very deep recession".
The U.S. government partially shut down operations on October 1 after Republicans who control the House of Representatives refused to approve a budget, saying they would only do so if Obama's healthcare reform law were delayed or stripped of funding.
Obama and the Democrats have thus far refused, noting the law was passed in 2010, subsequently approved by the Supreme Court, and was a central issue in the 2012 election which Obama won handily.
At the same time, the Republicans have refused to approve an increase in the U.S. debt limit unless it is accompanied by significant spending cuts and other policy concessions.
Obama maintains Boehner could end the current government showdown by allowing the House to vote on a "clean" budget bill that does not alter the health law, because that could pass with votes from both Democrats and moderate Republicans.
But doing so would risk damaging his standing with the most conservative elements of his caucus, analysts say.
U.S. and foreign officials and economists have warned of severe economic consequences if the U.S. defaults on its debt because the government is unable to borrow money to fund its obligations.
At the White House, Obama said that if the U.S. eventually dealt with the impasse "the way we should", then "folks around the world will attribute this to the usual messy process of American democracy but it doesn't do lasting damage".
He sought to reassure U.S. bond holders and others that the country remained good for its debts, despite the shutdown.
"My message to the world is the United States always has paid its bills and it will do so again," Obama said. The shutdown has already had a significant impact in the U.S.
Hundreds of thousands of workers have been sent home without pay, national parks, museums, and tourists sites have been closed, research has halted, and more.