Boehner describes ‘nice, polite’ sequester discussion at White House

March 1, 2013

So how did things go at the White House today between President Obama and congressional leaders?

Just fine, thanks, but not well enough to stave off $85 billion in budget cuts.

"We had a very nice, polite discussion," House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said when asked to describe today's meeting in an interview airing Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Despite the cordiality, Boehner said he had once again asked Obama and Senate leaders to come up with a plan to avert the sequester.

"We’ve known about this for 16 months. And yet, even today, there’s no plan from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester," Boehner said. "And over the last 10 months, House Republicans have acted twice to replace the sequester."

A clip of the exchange with "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory appears above. A transcript of the exchange appears below:

DAVID GREGORY: As we sit here Friday afternoon, you’ve emerged from a meeting at the White House. There is no deal. Take me inside the room. What happened?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Well we had a very nice, polite discussion. But I had asked the president and Senator Reid to come with a plan to replace the sequester. Listen, we’ve known about this for 16 months. And yet, even today there’s no plan from Senate Democrats or the White House to replace the sequester. And over the last 10 months, House Republicans have acted twice to replace the sequester.

DAVID GREGORY : In the end, you don’t really see a pathway here that’s open as you sit here.

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: If I did, that meeting at the White House today might have gone better.

Follow Ed O'Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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Ed O'Keefe · March 1, 2013