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Senate leader: no talks while gov’t partly closed

October 10, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The leader of the majority in the U.S. Senate says Democrats will not negotiate with Republican lawmakers as long as the government is still partially closed.

Sen. Harry Reid spoke to reporters following a meeting Thursday with President Barack Obama at the White House that lasted nearly two hours. Reid says Senate Democrats want the government open and want the nation to be able to pay its bills.

Earlier Thursday, House leader John Boehner proposed a short-term increase in the federal debt limit if Obama agrees to negotiate with Republicans on a broader budget deal. But the Boehner proposal would not end the government shutdown.

When asked whether he would negotiate with Republicans while the government is closed, Reid said it’s “not going to happen.”

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