A meeting between President Barack Obama and Congressional Democratic and Republican leaders has been moved from Thursday to Nov. 30 because of GOP “scheduling conflicts,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.
The meeting was postponed “at the request of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner, due to scheduling conflicts in organizing their caucuses,” Gibbs said in a statement.
But a Democratic official familiar with planning for the meeting said Republicans derailed the White House event because they were not willing to adjust their schedules. “A couple of Republicans refused to change their schedule to accommodate and the White House caved. The White House needs to learn to not be such wimps,” the official said.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Republicans "look forward to meeting with the president to discuss the American peoples' priorities: stopping the tax hikes, cutting spending and helping small businesses create jobs."
Obama called the meeting last week to sketch out an agenda for the lame-duck session, which kicked off Monday. Lawmakers expected to attend include Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Boehner and McConnell, among others.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.