I shouldn’t have to offer [the Republicans] anything. They’re not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do. That’s part of their basic function of government; that’s not doing me a favor. That’s doing what the American people sent them here to do, carrying out their responsibilities.
President Obama to NPR’s Steve Inskeep [full transcript here] (via npr)
President Obama spoke to Inskeep yesterday, hours prior to the government shutdown. The above passage isn’t a departure from what he’s said so far — he’s been openly critical of ‘hostage-taking’ behavior by the House GOP. But the above statement represents the core standoff the President finds himself in, one that the GOP may suspect, rightly or wrongly, they can find some leverage on. Given Obama’s past willingness to wheel and deal in situations when his side can claim a high-ground of responsibility and adulthood, even liberal supporters do have feasible, credible reasons to fear an extracted compromise on delaying or weakening the ACA. If you’re taking him at his word, though, and the words are stern enough to stake his authority on, no such negotiation seems pending.