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Obama: I'm Willing to Negotiate Health Care Law -- but Not Until Shutdown Ends and New Debt Ceiling Passes

Obama says he doesn't expect Congress to breach the deadline to increase the nation's borrowing limit.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 4: U.S. President Barack Obama talks to the media at Taylor Gourmet on Pennsylvania Avenue after walking from the White House for a take-out lunch October 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. Democrats and Republicans are still at a stalemate on funding for the federal government as the shutdown goes into the fourth day. The deli, like many other eateries in Washington, is currently offering a discount for furloughed federal workers. Credit: Getty Images

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he's willing to negotiate changes to his signature health care law and to find ways to reduce spending, but stresses he will not bargain until after Congress reopens the government and passes a new debt ceiling.

U.S. President Barack Obama at Taylor Gourmet on Pennsylvania Avenue after walking from the White House for a take-out lunch October 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Getty Images)

Obama says he doesn't expect Congress to breach the deadline to increase the nation's borrowing limit, adding that a majority of lawmakers in the House would vote raise the credit limit without conditions, as well as end the partial government shutdown.

The president made these statements during an interview with the Associated Press.

The government is expected to hit its $16.7 trillion debt ceiling in mid-October. Failure to raise it could lead to a first-ever default. Republicans want cuts in federal benefit programs and future deficits in exchange for their votes.

As TheBlaze has previously reported, the New York Times says House Speaker John Boehner told fellow lawmakers he’s willing to allow legislation to come to the House floor that would raise the nation’s debt limit again, even if a majority of House Republicans oppose such a measure.

That move would violate the longstanding Hastert rule, an unwritten policy that says the Speaker will not allow legislation on the floor that is not supported by a majority of the party in power.

Should such legislation come to the floor, it would require only a small number of Republicans to cross the aisle and join Democrats in voting for and passing it.

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