House of Representatives Republicans Thursday weren't giving an inch...or a dollar, for that matter.
An estimated 18 to 20 Republicans have indicated they would join Democrats and vote for a government funding bill with no strings. But the leaders won't put it to a vote.
Why not, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was asked.
He had a complex answer.
"I think the speaker and I have both said that the Republican position is, we believe we should fund this government, but we also believe that there should not be any special treatment for anyone, and that is why we believe the right solution to that is to provide for a delay of the individual mandate under the health care law, because what that says is, big business special interests shouldn't get special treatment exemptions under that law if working people don't get it. And in the same vein -- and perhaps with even more intensity -- no way in the world should members of Congress get special treatment under that law, either," he said.
Reporters pressed him further.
"So all we've got to do is come together and we can iron out the differences," he said.
The House hopes to vote again Thursday on piecemeal funding for different government agencies. Most Democrats have rejected that approach.