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Posted at 04:04 PM ET, 07/18/2011

Boehner, Cantor met with Obama on Sunday


(Joshua Roberts - BLOOMBERG)
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) met Sunday with President Obama at the White House to discuss the path forward on raising the debt ceiling.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, confirmed the Sunday morning meeting and said that while the lines of communication “are being kept open,” there remains “nothing to report in terms of an agreement or process.”

News of the meeting was first reported by Politico.

“We believe cut, cap and balance represents the best path forward, and we are looking forward to the House vote on it tomorrow,” Steel said, referring to the chamber’s planned vote on a measure that would call for any increase in the debt limit to be accompanied by significant spending cuts, statutory spending caps and congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

The White House on Monday formally registered its opposition to the measure, issuing a statement through the Office of Management and Budget that Obama would veto the “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill if it were to reach his desk.

“Neither setting arbitrary spending levels nor amending the Constitution is necessary to restore fiscal responsibility,” the OMB statement read. “Increasing the federal debt limit, which is needed to avoid a federal government default on its obligations and a severe blow to the economy, should not be conditioned on taking these actions.”

Obama had previously expressed his opposition to the idea of a balanced budget amendment, telling reporters at a White House news conference Friday that rather than amend the Constitution, leaders in Washington needed only “to do our jobs” in order to get the country’s fiscal house in order.

The Obama-Boehner-Cantor huddle appears to have been the only bipartisan meeting among leaders on the debt limit over the weekend, even though Obama announced after the negotiators’ Thursday meeting that the parties had “24 to 36 hours” to come to agree on a way forward or else they would be called back to the White House over the weekend.

The timing of the leaders’ next debt-ceiling huddle remains to be seen; both chambers were in session on Monday, although all of the negotiators have not met in person since their last White House gathering Thursday afternoon.

By  |  04:04 PM ET, 07/18/2011

 
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