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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 8th, 2013
05:41 PM ET

Senator: Democrats already compromised on $70 billion cut, GOP didn't keep their end of deal

President Barack Obama said Tuesday he is open to a short-term, clean bill to fund the government – one that does not include defunding or delaying Obamacare. But it remains unclear if congressional Democrats are with him, and one reason may be they are wary of another bait and switch.

"We negotiated and compromised weeks ago when we agreed to a $70 billion cut, and they didn't agree to, or they wouldn't go along with their end of the deal, which was to keep the government open," said Senator Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, have said that they negotiated with Speaker of the House John Boehner, an agreement was reached, it was quite a concession by Democrats, but then Boehner came back and said he couldn't get his caucus to support it.

"There are lots of Republicans, and certainly lots of Democrats, and independents who want to move forward," said Casey. "This is the tea party shutdown. The tea party is preventing the opening up of the government."

"Why else would Speaker Boehner months ago say to Harry Reid and in essence say to his whole caucus, we're going to agree to keep the government open if you agree to have that $70 billion cut? He went back to the tea party and they vetoed that, and they have been vetoing ever since the opening of the government," said Casey.

Republicans have asked for, and attached to some of their government spending bills, a repeal of the medical device tax, which is part of Obamacare. Casey has been very critical of that tax.

"I have supported a repeal," said Casey, but said he would not shut down the government because he disagrees with a policy.

Democrats were strongly against the Iraq War, and Reid thought about "moving in the direction a shutdown," but ultimately decided against it, said Casey.

"So if that's the approach that Democrats have taken when (Republicans') core issue, in that case the war in Iraq, was at stake, I don't see how tea party Republicans can say that, unless they get their way on defunding or substantially changing Obamacare, that we should shut the government down," said Casey.

For more of our interview with Sen. Bob Casey, watch the video above.

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