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Speaker Boehner: Shutdown is 'not some damn game'

CNBC.com with Reuters
Friday, 4 Oct 2013 | 11:35 AM ET
Boehner: 'This isn't some damn game!'
Friday, 4 Oct 2013 | 11:07 AM ET
House Majority Leader John Boehner shares his frustration about the ongoing government shutdown.

House Speaker John Boehner denounced the political stalemate that has shut down Washington for the fourth consecutive day Friday, insisting that Congress isn't playing "some damn game."

In an animated press conference, Boehner chided both President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for what he called their refusal to negotiate over Republicans' concerns about Obamacare.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks to a Republican strategy session on Friday.
AP
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks to a Republican strategy session on Friday.

Boehner, R-Ohio, insisted that Congress would not vote on a "clean" spending bill without conditions to end the government shutdown and demanded spending cuts in exchange for raising the government's borrowing limit.

Blasting reports depicting the impasse as a tally of winners and losers, he shouted, "This isn't some damn game! The American people don't want their government shut down, and neither do I!"

The government went into partial shutdown Tuesday after lawmakers failed to settle a dispute in which Republicans are demanding the dismantling of Obama's signature health-care law in exchange for approving a deal.

Obama swipes at Boehner during lunch outing
The president left the White House and walked to a sandwich shop offering furloughed government workers a 10 percent discount. He again called on House Speaker John Boehner to allow a vote on a "clean" funding bill.

On Oct. 17, the government is expected to hit the so-called debt ceiling, setting up another fiscal showdown with potentially more dire economic consequences.

(Read more: Treasury warns default could be 'catastrophic')

Earlier, Boehner told GOP members of the House that he would not rely on Democratic votes to pass a "clean" debt ceiling increase without spending cuts, according to Rep. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

The stance is contrary to a report from The New York Times on Thursday stating that Boehner said he be willing to violate the "Hastert rule" and pass a spending bill without majority Republican support.

—By CNBC.com. Reuters contributed to this report.

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