UK & World News
Shutdown Must End Before Obama Will Negotiate
An "exasperated" Barack Obama has ruled out negotiating on budget issues until Congress approves spending measures that will end the government shutdown.
Mr Obama said engaging in deal-making now would leave him and other presidents vulnerable to what he called extortion by opposition parties.
He recently criticised Republicans in the House, blaming the current impasse on "one faction of one party in one chamber".
Mr Obama told CNBC: "Am I exasperated? Absolutely I'm exasperated."
The President said House Speaker John Boehner could end the shutdown by bringing a clean spending bill to the floor.
He made the comments ahead of a White House meeting with the Republican, as well as other congressional leaders from both parties.
The meeting is expected to discuss not only the shutdown but also its impact on another looming economic issue - the debt ceiling.
Earlier, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Congress that unless lawmakers act in time, he will run out of money to pay the nation's bills by October 17.
"When you have a situation in which a faction is willing to default on US obligations, then we are in trouble," Mr Obama said.
As the shutdown neared the end of its second full day, the impasse showed little sign of abating.
The stalemate has left federal government functions in limbo from coast to coast, while as many as 800,000 workers have been forced to take unpaid leave.
National parks such as Yellowstone and Alcatraz Island have been closed to visitors and government websites have gone dark.
Earlier, Republican members of the House were again pushing a series of smaller spending bills aimed at reopening portions of the government.
The proposed legislation would permit the processing of veterans' claims, reopen national parks and continue pay for National Guard members.
But the White House said reopening government on a piecemeal basis is unacceptable and promised to veto anything other than a spending bill that funds the entire government.
Democrats on the Hill also rejected the idea, saying it was unfair to pick winners and losers as federal employees worked without a guarantee of getting paid.
Meanwhile, the effects of the shutdown were being felt across the country, particularly by the nation's military and intelligence forces.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress the shutdown damages the ability to guard against threats.
He said roughly 70% of the civilian workforce has been furloughed, including staff from the CIA and the National Security Agency, and that each day the shutdown continues "the jeopardy increases".
US Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno said the shutdown is significantly affecting the Army's day-to-day operations.
"It is going to be difficult for us to do anything," he said.
"We won't be doing training like we normally would, we won't be travelling, we won't be doing the coordination necessary, only mission-essential tasks."
Fed-up Americans have taken to Facebook and Twitter, with some calling members of Congress "stupid" or "idiots".
Some blamed Republicans while others blasted Mr Obama or Democrats "who spend our tax dollars like crack addicts".
Others have rebelled against the shutdown. On Tuesday and Wednesday, a group of veterans pushed past barricades at the National World War Two Memorial to get into the site.
Mr Obama has scrapped parts of a planned trip to Asia as the shutdown looked to head into a third day.
He called off stops in Malaysia and the Philippines but still plans to travel to regional summits in Indonesia and Brunei.
Funding for much of the government was halted after House Republicans hitched a routine spending bill to their effort to kill or delay the healthcare law, dubbed Obamacare.
The president accused conservatives of holding the government hostage for an ideological crusade.
Republicans, particularly members of the conservative Tea Party, view the Affordable Care Act as a dangerous extension of government power.
Politicians in both parties have suggested the stand-off might last for weeks.