President Obama, during a walk from the White House to a Washington sandwich shop, said a House budget vote is the "only way" to end the government shutdown.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden -- followed by members of the public and the media -- walked down Pennsylvania Avenue Friday to Taylor Gourmet Deli, a chain specializing in Philadelphia-style hoagies.
"Part of the reason we're here is we're starving," Obama said. "The other reason we're here is that this establishment is giving out 10 percent off to furloughed [federal workers]. This is an indication of how ordinary Americans are looking out for one another."
Asked what could be done to end the shutdown, which began Tuesday after funding expired for government operations without congressional approval of a stopgap funding bill, Obama said, "Only way to do it is to call a vote."
Asked whether Democrats are winning the debate, the president said "no one is winning" as long as federal workers are furloughed.
The question was a reference to a Wall Street Journal article that quoted a senior White House official it did not identify as saying "we are winning," and that the duration of the shutdown doesn't matter "because what matters is the end result."
Speaking with reporters Friday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, "This isn't some damn game."
"The American people don't want their government shut down and neither do I," Boehner said. "All we're asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness -- reopen the government and bring fairness to the American people under Obamacare."
"I'm happy to have negotiations," Obama said Friday, "but we can't do it with a gun held to the head of the American people."
Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Original headline: Obama, Biden talk shutdown on stroll near White House
Most Popular Stories
- Alabama House Speaker Arrested on Felony Ethics Charges
- 'Fury' Blows 'Gone Girl' Out of the Box Office
- Microsoft's Cloud Platform Shines
- Turkey to Help Kurds Reach Fight in Kobani
- German Intelligence Blames Ukraine Rebels for MH17
- ISIS Seeks to Expand Terror War
- Perez Leads Push for Obama's Job Proposals
- 2016 Camaro Shrinks, Moves to Caddy Platform
- Prius Drivers Battle Stereotypes
- Clinton Rallies Early Vote for Landrieu