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House Republican: 'It's up to Senate Republicans'

CNN
Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 12:21pm

House Republicans are slamming the White House for not negotiating with them. House Speaker John Boehner told GOP rank and file that President Barack Obama was rejecting the House GOP offer and instead working with senators from both parties to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

"I'm disappointed that the president has rejected the offer that we put on the table," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. "I know that he's trying to see which Republican senator he can pick off in the Senate. I hope that the Senate Republicans stand strong so we can speak with one voice."

"All eyes are on the Senate," said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). "It doesn't seem like the White House is serious at all about entering negotiations with us until they see what comes out of the Senate. If they get something out of the Senate that's weaker than our negotiated position, it obviously strengthens their position."

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) was more blunt.

"The President rejected our deal," he said. "It's up to Senate Republicans to stand up to the President."

Those Senate Republicans are in the midst of talks with their colleagues across the aisle. A bipartisan group of about 10 senators, led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), met Friday afternoon to try to find a way forward in the Senate, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

Collins' plan for a longer extension of the debt limit and government funding has gained some traction. Her proposal would repeal the 2.3% tax on medical devices, which is used to help pay for Obamacare, and give federal agencies greater flexibility to deal with the forced spending cuts known as sequestration.

With the White House's rejection of House Republicans' offer, members will head home to their district for the weekend, many of them angry at what they see as an intransigent administration.

Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) said that the president has negotiated in bad faith, that he never intended to reach a deal, only bait and switch.

The Republican caucus has never been more unified, he said, than they now are against a "very bad" deal between Senate Republicans and the President.

GOP leadership will remain in Washington to continue negotiations, advising their members they could possibly call them back for a vote. As of now, though, no votes are planned, and members will return Monday afternoon.

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