(For more on the U.S. government shutdown, see EXT2.)
Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama reiterated that he won’t negotiate with Republicans over the partial government shutdown and the U.S. debt limit as Senate Democrats began preparing for a test vote on a clean debt-ceiling bill.
Many U.S. government services have been shuttered for a week and the country is 10 days away from running out of borrowing authority. Republicans are insisting on changing the 2010 Affordable Care Act, while Obama refuses to engage in discussions about policy riders as a condition for opening the government or raising the debt limit.
"We’re not going to negotiate under the threat of economic catastrophe," Obama said today during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington.
Senate Democrats could introduce legislation as soon as today that gives Obama the authority to raise the debt ceiling unless two-thirds of Congress disapproves, according to a Senate Democratic aide.
An initial test vote on the proposal, described by the aide on condition of anonymity, could occur as soon as Oct. 11. The method of giving Obama the authority to raise the debt ceiling barring a congressional disapproval was first proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, in 2011.
The Senate Democratic aide said the strategy could make it easier to get Republican votes because no Republican would have to vote directly for a debt-ceiling increase.
"We are not going to pass a clean debt limit," House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said yesterday in an interview on ABC’s "This Week" program. "The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit."