Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), emerging from a nearly two-hour meeting with President Obama, said Senate Democrats would not negotiate with House Republicans over the budget until the government is reopened.
“Not going to happen,” Reid told reporters when asked whether Democrats would enter negotiations amid a continuing government shutdown.
Reid added: “The government should be open now, we should be able to pay our debt, and we’ve said and will continue to say if that happens, we'll negotiate on anything – anything – and the president confirmed that today.”
But Reid said Senate Democrats would consider supporting a short-term deal to raise the debt ceiling.
“We are going to look at anything they send,” Reid said, referencing the short-term proposal House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) outlined earlier Thursday. “Let’s just wait and see.”
Reid addressed reporters from the front portico of the West Wing alongside Sens. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). They and the Senate Democratic Caucus met with Obama for roughly one hour and 30 minutes.