Democrat Reid says open government first, then will look at Republican offer

October 1, 2013

WASHINGTON, Oct 1 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid on Tuesday said Republicans must agree to open the government before Democrats would consider their latest offer to end the budget stalemate, which has shut down most government services and functions.

Reid spoke to reporters briefly at an event marking the opening of enrollment in healthcare exchanges, where individuals can buy health insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare law.

The government officialy shut down early on Tuesday after the House and Senate traded competing bills to fund the government back and fourth, but failed to reach a deal.

Republicans are insisting measures to slow the start of Obama's healthcare plan be part of any deal.

Two Senate Democratic aides said the latest Republican idea was a non-starter.