This is a first for me. This is a first for a lot of us.
Because of a partisan refusal to even talk with House Republicans about a plan to keep our government open and ensure fair treatment for all Americans under Obamacare, the federal government is shutting down.
Yes, the consequences of presidential partisanship are real, and are being felt throughout the country -- in furloughed offices and in faulty health care exchanges.
Over the past two weeks, the House has offered four bipartisan proposals to fully fund government services and put Obamacare uncertainty on hold.
Each effort was rebuffed. Each good-faith step we took to the middle was rejected -- even the simple request to sit down and work through our policy differences. Really.
Call us names, belittle our values, refuse to negotiate with us. Fine. In this moment where leadership is required, be small.
But House Republicans still recognize that it's going to take bipartisanship to re-open government. And we will continue to lead as the only body that has provided bipartisan solutions for the country.