Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) will be joining House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), President Obama and Vice President Biden for the first-ever golf summit next weekend between the president and the top Republican in the House.
“Joining POTUS and VPOTUS for golf on June 18; the 4th will be Gov. @JohnKasich. #nomulligans,” Boehner announced via Twitter Friday afternoon.
The golf summit, slated for next Saturday, June 18, was announced by Obama’s and Boehner’s offices last Friday. The meeting will provide one of the first opportunities for Boehner and Obama to engage on a personal level since the Ohio Republican assumed the speakership in January. Both men are known to be avid golfers, although Boehner has the edge: the Ohio Republican has been a golfer since his 20s, while Obama began golfing frequently only after becoming president.
At the top of the agenda at the golf outing is likely to be the ongoing debate over raising the country’s debt ceiling. Biden has been leading a group of six congressional leaders on working out a comprehensive deficit-reduction deal in exchange for a vote on extending the country’s $14.3 trillion debt limit this summer. The final negotiations are likely to be conducted by Obama, Boehner and other congressional leaders.
Boehner’s choice of Kasich, a former nine-term House member from Boehner’s home state who narrowly defeated incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland (D) last November, is something of an unexpected move. The governor is an outside-the-Beltway choice, although he has deep budget expertise as a former chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Kasich has had a rocky few months as governor, however; a Quinnipiac poll released last month showed only 38 percent of respondents approved of his job performance while 49 percent disapproved. Many expressed disapproval of how Kasich has handled the state budget and his push to limit workers’ collective bargaining rights.