WASHINGTON (CNN) - As a potential government shutdown inched closer Saturday morning, the Obama administration reiterated that it will not negotiate with Republicans over delaying the president's signature health care law.
A day after President Barack Obama said any attempt to "gut" or repeal the Affordable Care Act "will not happen under the threat of a shutdown," a White House official echoed the commander-in-chief, telling CNN's Jim Acosta a continuing resolution that alters or delays Obamacare will not merit the president's signature.
"I don't think the president could have been any more clear," the official said, in reference to Obama's comments Friday.
Arriving at the Capitol to prepare for a noon meeting with his caucus, Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, again slipped into his mantra of late, declaring himself a "happy warrior" to reporters. Despite the speaker's nom de guerre, it appears as if both sides remain unwilling and unable to move towards a compromise. Responding to Obama's Friday remarks, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican, blasted the president for refusing to negotiate with House Republicans and assailed Obama's comments as "grandstanding" that "won't bring Congress any closer to a resolution."
The administration's staunch refusal to negotiate would seem to render potential bargaining points under consideration by the House Republican caucus as non-starters. A source within the Republican Party told CNN's Dana Bash on Friday night that options being examined by the GOP-controlled lower chamber include delaying the health care legislation one year, eliminating the Independent Payment Advisory Board - commonly referred to by right-wing partisans as "death panels" - and repealing a tax on medical devices.
Two House Republican sources informed Bash Saturday morning that a vote on a continuing resolution is likely sometime today. The sources say the bill would include delaying Obamacare for a year or a repealing the medical device tax.
White House press secretary Jay Carney is already on the record saying the president would reject doing away with the medical device tax if it were included in a stopgap spending bill. Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Harry Reid, D-Nevada,also weighed in on behalf of his boss, relaying that the Senate majority leader thinks the Republican proposal is "stupid." Even the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, Orrin Hatch, who helped write the medical device tax repeal, agrees that it's the wrong time to push for axing the tax and opponents of the measure would be better served waiting until the mid-October debt ceiling fight.