Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in his House office this morning, a rare face-to-face meeting of the two leaders during which they discussed the status of the super committee’s deficit talks.
Although publicly Reid insisted the discussion was “non-substantive,” sources familiar with the talks said the two men did in fact talk specifics. Reid also discussed the status of the talks with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) earlier in the day.
Still, Reid said at the moment he is not getting heavily involved in the deficit negotiations. “I don’t think there’s anything to kick up to the leadership level until there’s something that we can take a look at. There’s nothing to look at, at this stage. At least as far as I know,” he told reporters.
But super committee members appeared to believe the meeting between Boehner and Reid might affect their work.
“We’ll see what the outcome was” of the meeting, panel member Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said this afternoon.
Reid is huddling with Democratic members of the super committee this afternoon to discuss his meeting with Boehner as well as the overall status of the talks.
The super committee has until Nov. 23 to complete its work or automatic cuts, known as sequestration, in defense and entitlements will go into effect in 2013.
Although Republicans have begun to push for a change to that last ditch mechanism, Reid today reiterated his opposition to changing it.
“I would not vote to undo the sequester,” he said.
Boehner indicated earlier today that he is confident that if the super committee comes to a deal, Congress will pass it. But Reid was more circumspect.
“The question [is] if they reach a deal would I unconditionally support it? No I have to see what it is,” Reid 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.