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Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 06/01/2011

West Wing Briefing: Obama will meet with House Republicans on deficit, debt limit

President Obama will meet with House Republicans Wednesday as the two sides remain divided on an agreement to increase the federal debt ceiling by the August deadline.

While the White House and Republicans are expected to reach a deal later this summer both to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit and cut federal spending, the session at the White House comes as some Republicans have argued that a temporary default on its debt by the U.S. government would not be a major problem. The Obama administration has said even a temporary default could be catastrophic.

House Republicans Tuesday overwhelmingly voted down a largely symbolic proposal that would have raised the debt limit but did not include spending cuts, which the GOP has said must be included in a deficit agreement.

The meeting on Wednesday is a rare direct intervention in the fiscal policy debate from Obama, who has set up a separate group headed by Vice President Biden to resolve the impasse between the two parties. The group has met four times over the last month.

In separate meetings last month with Senate Republicans and Democrats, Obama urged both sides to avoid declaring ironclad public positions, arguing that would increase the partisan divide and make it harder to reach an agreement.

But many Republicans, including Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) have pointedly said they will not back an increase in taxes as part of a deal on deficit reduction.

Obama will meet with House Democrats on Thursday.

By Perry Bacon Jr.  |  06:00 AM ET, 06/01/2011

 
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