A partial U.S. government shutdown has entered its third day Thursday with no end to the deadlock in sight.
U.S. congressional leaders met for about an hour late Wednesday with President Barack Obama, but they emerged from the closed-door session with no progress on the budget impasse that triggered the shutdown.
House Speaker John Boehner said President Obama told him he will not negotiate a deal to reopen the government. Republican Boehner said he told the president he wants a discussion of what he called the "fairness" of Mr. Obama's signature health care program, the Affordable Care Act.
Republicans have wanted to tie funding the government to a delay or defunding of the health care program.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said Democrats are happy to talk to the Republicans about anything they want, but only if a spending bill is passed and the government shutdown ends.
The White House called Wednesday's meeting useful and said the president is glad it took place. But before the talks, Mr. Obama told CNBC television he has "bent over backwards" to work with the Republicans. He said he is exasperated, calling the government shutdown totally unnecessary.