POSTED: Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 9:02am
UPDATED: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 11:14am
(CNN) — President Barack Obama in an exclusive interview with the Associated Press released Saturday laid responsibility for the government shutdown squarely at the feet of House Speaker John Boehner.
"We can vote to open the government today," Obama told the Associated Press. "We know that there are enough members in the House of Representatives -- Democrats and Republicans -- who are prepared to vote to reopen the government today. The only thing that is keeping that from happening is Speaker Boehner has made a decision that he is going to hold out to see if he can get additional concessions from us."
Much of the government has been shutdown -- hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed, national parks closed, programs for anything from child care to space exploration shuttered -- for five days. And it's likely to remain closed for several days if not weeks more, House Republicans concede.
Despite public pressure to reach a resolution -- and public promises they want to, if only the other side would give in -- Washington politicians remain at odds. And there's little indication there will be any breakthrough until at least mid-October, when the next economic crisis comes up over whether Congress gives the federal government the OK to increase how much it can borrow, or else default on its debt.
Boehner, speaking to reporters Friday, tried to ratchet up pressure on Obama to end the crisis following his approach -- negotiate changes to Obamacare as part of any deal. Fuming about a Wall Street Journal report citing an unnamed Obama administration saying "we are winning," Boehner said, "This isn't some damn game!"