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Washington (AFP) – The top Republican in Congress lashed out at the White House Friday over President Barack Obama’s refusal to negotiate on ending the government shutdown, saying “this isn’t some damn game.”

House Speaker John Boehner used heated rhetoric after emerging from a Republican Party caucus meeting to slam an unidentified administration official who reportedly said it “doesn’t matter” how long the shutdown lasts because the White House was “winning” the budget battle.

“This isn’t some damn game!” Boehner told reporters.

He continued: “The American people don’t want their government shut down and neither do I.”

The U.S. government shut down for the first time in 17 years Tuesday after lawmakers failed to reach a budget deal by the end of the fiscal year.

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