Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images
US President Barack Obama walks across 17th Street back to the White House after stepping out to get lunch at Taylor Gourmet Deli on Pennsylvania Ave in Washington, DC. Obama walked over to the deli with US Vice President Joe Biden and ordered sandwiches to go. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
President Obama, speaking at a DC sandwich shop, says that the House has the opportunity to end the shutdown today, if only Speaker Boehner would allow a vote to take place.
President Barack Obama told reporters Friday that he won't negotiate with Republicans to end the budget standoff "with a gun held to the head of the American people."
"I'm happy to have negotiations but we can't do it with a gun held to the head of the American people," Obama said of congressional Republicans, according to a pool report.
The president made the comments while visiting sandwich shop Taylor Gourmet, just blocks from the White House. He told reporters that he and Vice President Joe Biden decided to visit the lunch spot in part because "we're starving" and in part because it is offering a 10 percent discount to furloughed federal workers.
Calling the restaurant’s gesture “an indication of how Americans look out for each other,” Obama said congressional leaders should “take cues from folks like this.”
Asked about a Wall Street Journal report that quoted an anonymous senior administration official saying it does not "matter" how long the shutdown goes on because "we're winning," Obama said "no one is winning" as long as the government remains shutdown and employees are unsure about their next paycheck.
This story was originally published on Fri Oct 4, 2013 1:09 PM EDT