Government shutdown 2013: Obama, Boehner still stalemated in shutdown's second week
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are calling on House Speaker John Boehner Monday to allow a vote on the shutdown so that frustrated moderates in his party can team up with Democrats to reopen the government.
But the speaker insists he will not call a vote without concessions from the White House.
He says he wants to talk and on Monday, Boehner again blasted Obama for refusing to negotiate.
“A senior White House staffer this morning said the president would rather default on the debt than sit down and negotiate! Really?” Boehner says.
While that’s stretching it a bit, Obama, meeting with FEMA workers, again rejected negotiations as caving in to hard line conservatives.
"The truth of the matter is, there are enough Republican and Democratic votes in the House of Representatives right now to end this shutdown immediately with no partisan strings attached,” Obama says.
Out in the rain Monday, furloughed workers were worried about jeopardizing the congressional agreement this weekend to pay furloughed workers.
But even with Pentagon workers back on the job Monday, a half-empty parking lot at Pentagon Row reflects the continuing hardships for many.
D.C. police officer Justin Branson dubs the shutdown “ridiculous.”
“I just ate here at Pentagon Row,” he says. “There's no one in the restaurant. Normally it's crowded with people. So clearly its impacting the local businesses as well.”
Shopping for groceries, Denise Pearson worries what will happen to people like her - government contractors who won't get back pay - and will have to use their savings to pay the bills.
“I'm very worried because I was sick over the summer and I used up all of my leave - so I"m not going to get paid,” says the Upper Marlboro resident.