In a speech in Rockville, Maryland this morning, President Barack Obama hammered House Speaker John Boehner for refusing to allow a vote on ending the Republican shutdown. In Obama's words:
If the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, simply let the bill get on the floor for an up or down vote [...] the shutdown would end today. The only thing that is keeping the government shut down, the only thing preventing people going back to work, and basic research starting back up, and farmers and small businesses getting their loans, the only thing that's preventing all of that from happening right now, today, in the next five minutes, is that Speaker John Boehner won't even let the bill get a yes or no vote.
Obama's speech came after a flurry of Republican leaks
and conservative media reports
tried to revive talk of a Grand Bargain yesterday. But in his remarks today, Obama did not waver from his position that Republicans need to end the shutdown and raise the debt limit without any strings attached.
I've said this before. I'm going to repeat it: There will be no negotiations over this.
In other words, President Obama is offering Republicans the Grand Bargain that they deserve: Nothing. They can do their job, and in return, they will get nothing but the satisfaction of a job well done.
8:57 AM PT: Another quote from the speech:
You don't get to demand some ransom in exchange for keeping the government running, you don't get to demand ransom in exchange for keeping the economy running. You don't get to demand ransom for doing your most basic job.