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(Washington, DC)  —  President Obama is accusing House Republicans of holding the country hostage as the government shutdown enters its second week.  In a White House news conference, the President said he is willing to negotiate with House Republicans but not until they agree to end the shutdown and raise the federal debt ceiling.   Obama argued, “We can’t make extortion routine as part of our democracy.”  GOP House Speaker John Boehner [[ BAY-nur ]] calls himself disappointed by President Obama’s negotiating position. In a statement near his Capitol office, Boehner said the President’s stand is “not sustainable.”

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