No progress seen following White House meeting on shutdown
Congressional leaders emerged from a White House meeting on Wednesday evening pointing fingers at members of their respective opposing parties for not doing their part to halt the government shutdown and address the possibility of a federal debt default.
After the meeting, House Speaker John Boehner said President Obama will not negotiate. Meanwhile, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says the GOP keeps "moving the goal posts" on the budget deal.
As the meeting got underway, tempers were flaring from both sides of the isle. The House is considering multiple bills to restore spending and passed bills to restore the National Park Service and National Institute of Health. But Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., accused his GOP colleagues of waging "jihad" on Americans.
Miller, who was a champion of the federal health care law when it was being drafted, claimed Republicans who are now complaining about the national parks being closed did not show the same concern over health care. "When you were on the jihad against Americans' access to health care, shutting down the parks wasn't a problem. Shutting down NIH wasn't a problem."
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wasn't happy with a question from CNN. Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash if the Senate would follow the House's plans to vote for a bill to fund the NIH during the shutdown, Reid blasted the GOP-controlled House and insulted Bash.
"What right do they have to pick and choose which part of government is going to be funded? It's obvious what's going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible, wow," he said.
According to NIH spokesman John Burklow, six new studies that were supposed to start this week are now being deferred. Approximately 30 of the 200 new patients are children, he said, and about 10 of those children are cancer patients.
When Bash asked if Reid would pass legislation to help one child, the Nevada Democrat grew irate.
"Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting at home. They have a few problems of their own. To have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing means you're as irresponsible and reckless," he said to Bash.
Reid said he supported comments made by Sen. Dick Durbin on the issue involving the clinical trials.
"When I raised that issue and others did, Senator Cruz decided to put the NIH on his bucket list of agencies that he was willing to save," Durbin said earlier in the press conference. "Well, it shouldn't stop there. He ought to ultimately open up the government, because there are so many agencies critically important to our country that are closed down today for no earthy reason."