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Partisan Gamesmanship Keeps Shutdown Talks at Standstill

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    TK
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    WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the media about the possibility of a government shut down in Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House September 30, 2013 in Washington, DC. If House Republicans do not find common ground with President Obama and Senate Democrats on the federal budget then at midnight large sections of the government will close, hundreds of thousands of workers would be furloughed without pay, and millions more would be asked to work for no pay. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    The House votes this weekend on a new batch of bills to restore the most popular services shuttered by the shutdown — but it still hasn't scheduled a vote on fully restoring the government, and Speaker John Boehner doesn't intend to. That's despite Democrats' refusal to pass those individual funding measures. It's also despite the White House's pressure to call a vote on the so-called "clean CR," or funding bill with no anti-Obamacare strings attached — which looks like it could pass the House if brought up for a vote. Instead, partisan gamesmanship is still de rigeur, as the GOP tries to gain leverage amid polls suggesting the public blames it for the shutdown. President Barack Obama said Friday that he won't negotiate "with a gun held to the head of the American people," saying the House could end the shutdown if it voted on a clean CR. But Boehner lashed out at Democrats. "This isn't some damn game," he fumed. There's one thing lawmakers appear to agree on: paying furloughed employees. A bill to ensure they'll be paid is likely to pass the House Saturday. The White House supports it, too.