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Spokesman: Obama not backing down

Wednesday - 10/2/2013, 4:44pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- His spokesman says President Barack Obama isn't backing down from his refusal to negotiate changes in the health care law in return for reopening the government.

Obama has called Democratic and Republican congressional leaders to the White House later today. Spokesman Jay Carney says he'll be impressing upon them the consequences of the shutdown, but won't be offering what Carney calls "concessions to Republicans in exchange for not tanking the economy."

House Speaker John Boehner's (BAY'-nurz) office had suggested the meeting was a sign that Obama is ready to yield. A spokesman for the speaker said Obama realized that "his refusal to negotiate is indefensible."

Also attending the meeting will be Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, and the Democratic leaders of the Senate and House, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

Reid today offered a new round of budget talks to House Republicans if they allow the government to reopen. But a spokesman for Boehner said he rejected the offer.

%@AP Links

191-a-09-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"the first time"-White House press secretary Jay Carney says the president believes there's nothing to talk about until the House agrees to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. (2 Oct 2013)

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192-a-15-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"open the government"-White House press secretary Jay Carney says President Obama is making no demands of Republicans beyond that they meet their basic responsibilities. (2 Oct 2013)

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GRAPHICSBANK: Sign posted outside Valley Forge National Historical Park stating that park is closed due to federal government shutdown, Pennsylvania, graphic element on gray (2 Oct 2013)

GRAPHICSBANK: Barack Obama, as US President, Washington DC, graphic element on gray (2 Oct 2013)

GRAPHICSBANK: Harry Reid, as Senate Majority Leader and Senator of Nevada, Washington DC, graphic element on gray (2 Oct 2013)

APPHOTO DCSW101: Despite signs stating that the national parks are closed, people visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. Most of the visitors were WWII veterans who came to Washington on an honor flight to visit the memorial. It was an act of civil disobedience that marked the fact some barriers nor a government shutdown would keep a group of World War II veterans from visiting the monument erected in their honor. The Lincoln Memorial is in the background. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (2 Oct 2013)

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APPHOTO DCEV201: House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor of Va., gestures during a news conference about the ongoing budget battle, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. From left are, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., Cantor, Rep. Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., and Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa. President Barack Obama summoned congressional leaders to the White House on the second day of a partial government shutdown that has furloughed hundreds of thousands of workers and closed military cemeteries as far away as France. Republican and Democratic leaders agreed to meet Wednesday afternoon but showed no signs of yielding.(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) (2 Oct 2013)

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