Immigration reform and national debt take center stage amid shutdown
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - President Obama indicated on Tuesday that he is willing to negotiate broader issues that concern Republicans – like spending and healthcare – once Congress passes a short-term bill that reopens the government and raises the debt ceiling.
"Let's lift these threats from our families and our businesses and let's get down to work," he said.
Speaker John Boehner countered by reiterating his desire to negotiate a way out of this crisis, while insisting that any discussion about raising the debt ceiling must include reigning in out-of-control spending.
At about the same time, hundreds of people were rallying for immigration reform on the National Mall -- a place that has been shuttered due to the shutdown.
"America should not have a permanent underclass," said protestor Jose La Luz. "That's why we are here, and that's why we believe that this is the moment."
Following the rally, hundreds were arrested for blocking a road near the U.S. Capitol. The National Service had OK'd the permit because it dealt with First Amendment issues.
"This favoritism is audacious," said Bob Dane with the Federation For American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Dane is outraged, and says those who break the country’s laws had access to a place that lawful Americans do not.
"Today was really insult to injury on the National Mall," he continued. "You had illegal aliens and the groups that advocate for them provide unrestricted access to the National Mall, while the American public were told go home."