Day four of the US government shutdown and with Democrats and Republicans blaming each other for the deadlock, President Barack Obama went on the charm offensive.
Rubbing shoulders with workers, he visited a local sandwich shop and called for the house speaker to hold a fresh vote on the government spending bill.
“If Speaker Boehner will simply allow that vote to take place, we can end this shutdown,” said Obama.
“A whole bunch of families, not just here in Washington but all across the country, will have the certainty that a pay-cheque will be coming, that they’ll be able to make their mortgage”.
The Republicans have held up the government spending bill to pressure Obama to modify his health care reform.
John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, sounded tetchy with journalists’ questions over this strategy.
“This isn’t some damn game,” he said. “All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness – reopen the government – and bring fairness to the American people under Obamacare. “
Meanwhile, as the politicians lock horns, government agencies lock their doors.
Until the impasse is broken, museums, art galleries, all non-essential federal agencies will remain closed.