US President Barack Obama refused to give ground in a fiscal confrontation with Republicans yesterday.
He said he would negotiate on budget issues only if they agree to re-open the federal government and raise the debt limit with no conditions.
At a news conference, an unbending Obama said he would not hold talks on ways to end the fiscal impasse while under threat from conservative Republicans.
But he agreed to discuss anything, including his healthcare plan, if they restore government funding and raise the debt limit.
"If reasonable Republicans want to talk about these things again, I'm ready to head up to the Hill and try," Obama told reporters.
"But I'm not gonna do it until the more extreme parts of the Republican Party stop forcing (House Speaker) John Boehner to issue threats about our economy. We can't make extortion routine as part of our democracy."
Obama's comments followed an earlier phone call to Boehner, who had adopted a slightly more conciliatory tone in comments to reporters after a meeting with House of Representatives' Republicans.
Boehner had said there were "no boundaries" in potential talks, and made no mention of recent Republican demands to delay parts of Obama's healthcare law in return for approving funds to end the government shutdown.
But speaking after Obama's news conference, Boehner said he was "disappointed" by the president's approach. "What the president said today was 'if there is unconditional surrender by Republicans, he'll sit down and talk to us.' That's not the way our government works," Boehner said.
The public give-and-take between Obama and Boehner was the most direct exchange between the two leaders since a White House meeting last week, but neither side has come up with a path to resolving the bitter fiscal stalemate.
The spending and budget impasse has shut down the federal government for eight days and threatens to prevent the raising of the country's $16.7 trillion borrowing limit before an October 17 deadline identified by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
Investors are exhibiting increasing anxiety as the deadline for raising the debt ceiling approaches.
International warnings on impasse
The impasse has sparked a rising tide of warnings about the potential global economic chaos of a US default, with foreign creditors and the International Monetary Fund's chief economist warning of the potential consequences.
"I think what could be said is if there was a problem lifting the debt ceiling, it could well be that what is now a recovery would turn into a recession or even worse," IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard said.
Japan's finance minister said a failure by the US to quickly resolve its political deadlock over government finances could damage the global economy.
"The US must avoid a situation where it cannot pay (for its debt) and its triple-A ranking plunges all of a sudden," Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said..
"The US must be fully aware that if that happens, the US would fall into fiscal crisis," he said in the latest sign that Japan and China, the biggest foreign creditors to the United States, are worried the impasse could harm their trillions of dollars of investments in U.S. Treasury bonds.
Obama said he did not think the crisis would create lasting international damage, saying "folks around the world will attribute this to the usual messy process of American democracy."