“I think the preferable path would be a bipartisan plan that involves all of the leaders, but it’s too early to decide whether that’s possible,” Boehner said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
Boehner said that in his talks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), he has been working to develop a framework that mirrors the “cut, cap and balance” plan that passed the House last week but was rejected by the Senate on Friday.
“I do believe that such a framework could come together, but it is not in place as we sit here,” he said.
If a bipartisan approach is not possible, Boehner added, “I and my Republican colleagues in the House are prepared to move on our own today.”
The quartet of congressional leaders held meetings at the Capitol on Saturday after a nearly hour-long huddle at the White House. But they parted ways Saturday evening without a firm plan in place, and Reid’s and Boehner’s offices traded barbs in statements issued after the meetings.
Boehner’s office said Saturday that “a two-step process is inevitable,” a point the speaker reiterated on Sunday morning while also taking a jab at the White House for insisting on a single vote to raise the debt ceiling through the 2012 election.
“There is going to be a two-stage process,” he said. “It’s not physically possible to do all of this in one step. Having said that, I know the president’s worried about his next election. But my God, shouldn’t we be worried about the country?”
White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley maintained on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning that any debt-ceiling deal must extend the country’s borrowing limit through the end of next year.