President Barack Obama called Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday to discuss progress on the continuing resolution aimed at averting a government shutdown Friday.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called it “a good phone call” and said it lasted about 12 minutes. He declined to give details on whether there was any agreement on passing a two-week versus a monthlong resolution; the White House is pushing for the latter.
“This process should be one in which ... there is enough time allowed for all sides to come together to reach an agreement on a long-term continuing resolution so that we can fund the government for the remainder of the year,” Carney said during a briefing.
The White House spokesman warned that it would not “be helpful” to the economy if Republicans were intent on “negotiating again and again on continuing resolutions to fund the government for two weeks or another short-term period.”
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Tuesday afternoon that the Senate will pass the two-week continuing resolution currently making its way through the House. And at a press event earlier Tuesday, Boehner complained that Obama came to the table too late to negotiate a longer continuing resolution.
“If there had been a conversation about this 10 days ago or two days ago, we might have had something to talk about,” the Ohio Republican told reporters. “But the fact is we were forced to move on our own. I think we’re taking a responsible path forward to keep the government open and meet our commitments to cut spending.”
Carney demurred when asked if the timing of Obama’s call related to Boehner’s criticisms.
“I can tell you that he called Speaker Boehner because he felt it was a good time to call him to discuss progress on discussions around the continuing resolution,” he said.
A Boehner spokesman also stayed mum on any specifics that were discussed during the call.
“The Speaker always appreciates the opportunity to talk with the president about working together on cutting spending and creating jobs. The House has acted responsibly in passing a bill to cut spending and keep the government open for the remainder of the year, and we encourage Senate Democrats to do the same,” the aide said.
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.