Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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President Barack Obama has said he will not negotiate with Republicans on their demands, and yet he is hosting Speaker John Boehner and congressional leaders at the White House Wednesday to discuss the shutdown and looming debt ceiling debate.
"I expect him to have one demand today when he sits down with Republican leadership, which is to say put a funding bill on the floor, a clean funding bill, to fund the government for the next two months," said Democratic strategist and former spokesman for the Obama campaign Ben LeBolt.
In other words, Obama will not negotiate over Republican demands to defund, or delay parts of the president's health care law, so-called Obamacare.
"He's not going to overturn the results of the presidential election, and participate in government by ransom," said LaBolt.
"Everybody could see this train wreck coming. I actually feel badly for John Boehner. I think this is Ted Cruz and President Obama's shutdown," said former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina.
Though Cruz' tactics were wrong, said Fiorina.
"There's no honor in charging a hill that you know you can't take, only casualties, although Ted Cruz maybe got name recognition and money along the way," said Fiorina. "But President Obama wanted this
shutdown. And Ted Cruz played right into his hands."
Since the government officially shut down Monday evening, House Republicans have tried and failed to pass targeted, piecemeal bills to reopen parts of the government in the short term, including national parks and claims processing at the department of Veterans Affairs.
In the House, some moderate Republicans are making noise about trying to overcome the conservative hold on strategy over the budget and debt ceiling, but no clear signs have emerged of a shift that might persuade Boehner and other House leaders to change course.
"The most frustrating part about this is the reason we're having a shutdown now is not because of no votes in the House. The votes to fund the government are in the House right now. They're just not holding the vote," said political reporter for Yahoo! News Chris Moody.
"That's going to be frustrating and infuriating to a lot of people that see it, and say it's there, why are we closing down monuments, and not funding (National Institute of Health)?" said Moody.
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