He proposed that the talks occur on a nonbinding measure known as a budget resolution that can serve as a template for follow-up legislation on the budget. Democrats have been pressing for official negotiations on the budget resolution for some time, but Republicans have resisted, saying they won't give any ground on taxes. Republicans are insisting on concessions such as a delay in the law's mandate that individuals purchase health insurance as a condition of reopening the government.
Boehner rejected the offer, said spokesman Michael Steel.
There were some rumblings from Republicans who wanted to reopen the government.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., accused tea party-backed lawmakers of trying to "hijack the party" and said he senses that a growing number of rank-and-file House Republicans — perhaps as many as a hundred — are tired of the shutdown that began Tuesday morning and will be meeting to look for a way out.
But GOP leaders and tea party-backed members seemed determined to press on. The House GOP leadership announced plans to pass five bills to open popular parts of the government — including national parks, processing of veterans' claims, the Washington, D.C., government, medical research, and to pay members of the National Guard.
The White House immediately promised a veto, saying opening the government on a piecemeal basis is unacceptable.
"Instead of opening up a few government functions, the House of Representatives should re-open all of the government," the White House said in an official policy statement.
Democrats in Congress said it was unfair to pick winners and losers as federal employees worked without a guarantee of getting paid and the effects of the partial shutdown rippled through the country and the economy.
Funding for much of the U.S. government was halted after Republicans hitched a routine spending bill to their effort to kill or delay the health care law they call "Obamacare."