WASHINGTON (AP):House talks with President Barack Obama over ending the partial government shutdown and preventing a federal default have stalled, Speaker John Boehner told fellow Republicans yesterday, shifting the focus to Senate efforts to end the twin stalemates.
"The Senate needs to hold tough," Greg Walden said Boehner told House Republicans who met in a Capitol basement meeting room for an update on negotiations.
"The president now isn't negotiating with us."
The closed-door Republican session came as the shutdown began its 12th day. Yesterday also marked just five days from when administration officials have warned the government will deplete its ability to borrow money and risk a first-time federal default that could jolt the world economy.
Conservatives said Obama was to blame for the stand-off.
"Perhaps he sees this as the best opportunity for him to win the House in 2014," said Republican John Fleming.
"It's very clear to us he does not now, and never had, any intentions of negotiating."
"It doesn't have to be this way. It's not supposed to be this way," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address yesterday.
"Manufacturing crises to extract massive concessions isn't how our democracy works, and we have to stop it. Politics is a battle of ideas, but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation - not extortion," said Obama.
In the meantime, US tourist sites, including the Grand Canyon and Statue of Liberty, are reopening after state officials reached deals with the federal government.
Arizona and New York will fund the attractions from their own budgets, and are unlikely to be reimbursed.
Other states are now weighing up whether they can justify the outlay of cash to keep their parks open.