U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone Tuesday with House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, urging him to allow a vote on legislation to end the now week-long U.S. government shutdown.
The White House says President Obama called Boehner and reiterated his willingness to negotiate with Republicans only after the shutdown and debt default threats are removed.
Earlier Tuesday after a meeting with House Republicans, Boehner said they would insist on deficit-reduction negotiations with Mr. Obama as a condition for raising the federal debt limit.
Boehner said the talks would be "wide open," saying, "There is nothing on the table, there is nothing off the table."
But President Obama is pressing the Speaker to allow a vote to raise the debt limit with what the White House describes as "no ideological strings attached."
The U.S. Treasury expects to exhaust its remaining borrowing capacity under the current $16.7 trillion cap by October 17.
Meanwhile, the partial U.S. government shutdown continues. Now entering its second week, the shutdown began when the politically-deadlocked Congress could not pass a spending bill to extend government funding. House Republicans insisted on attaching a provision to the budget to repeal or delay President Obama's signature health care law, an addition the Democratic-led Senate vowed it would never approve.
Hundreds of thousands of government workers are still furloughed and many important services remain unavailable.