House GOP to Send Negotiators to White House; Obama ‘Disappointed’ (Updated)
Updated 3:34 p.m. | House Republican leaders and a team of negotiators will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House Thursday, sparking disappointment from the president that his invitation to the entire GOP conference had been spurned.
“President Obama is disappointed that Speaker [John A.] Boehner is preventing his members from coming to the White House,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. “The President thought it was important to talk directly with the members who forced this economic crisis on the country about how the shutdown and a failure to pay the country’s bills could devastate the economy.”
He made it clear that Obama would still welcome the GOP delegation.
“The President will talk to anyone anytime and looks forward to their visit to the White House, but will not pay the Republicans ransom for doing their job. If the Republicans want to have a real discussion they should open the government and take the threat of default off the table,” Carney said.
Earlier, Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck dismissed the idea of having the entire GOP conference visit the White House.
“Nine days into a government shutdown and a week away from breaching the debt ceiling, a meeting is only worthwhile if it is focused on finding a solution,” Buck said. “That’s why the House Republican Conference will instead be represented by a smaller group of negotiators, including the elected leadership and certain committee chairmen. It is our hope that this will be a constructive meeting and that the president finally recognizes Americans expect their leaders to be able to sit down and resolve their differences.”
Obama has repeatedly said he will not negotiate concessions to the GOP until they agree to reopen the government and extend the debt limit. But he has opened the door to agreeing to a framework for budget negotiations to follow a short-term debt hike.
The list of attendees is below:
Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California
Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington
Rules Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas
Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin
Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan
Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan
Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers of Kentucky
Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas
Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon of California
Greg Walden of Oregon
James Lankford of Oklahoma
Lynn Jenkins of Kansas
Virginia Foxx of North Carolina
Steve Southerland II of Florida
Ann Wagner of Missouri
Peter Roskam of Illinois