White House urges Republicans to negotiate to avoid government shutdown
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest (Screenshot)

Republicans in the U.S. Congress must negotiate with Democrats on the country's budget in order to avoid a government shutdown, a White House spokesman said on Thursday.

"If Republican leaders maintain their insistence on trying to pass a budget along party lines, then we are going to be headed for a shutdown because it's clear to anyone who's been paying attention for the last several months that they don't have the votes to pass a budget," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

"The way to avoid that is for Democrats and Republicans to do what they did two years ago, which is finally sit down and try to work in bipartisan fashion to negotiate the kind of budget agreement that neither side would think is perfect but that both sides would acknowledge are in the best interest of the United States and our economy."