As the deadline nears for the White House and negotiators in Congress to come up with a plan to raise the country’s debt limit, congressional leaders Thursday dismissed rumors that a Camp David summit might be in the works.
“The Speaker has told the White House he sees no need to go to Camp David this weekend,” Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), said in a statement Thursday morning.
President Obama and congressional leaders are aiming at working out a tentative agreement on the scope of a debt-limit deal by Friday, according to several participants in the talks. With the White House-set deadline for a final deal looming, rumors swirled Thursday morning about the possibility of a summit at the presidential retreat about 60 miles northwest of Washington in the Catoctin Mountains in Maryland. The site has historically played host to negotiations between the president and heads of state, such as the Camp David Agreements negotiated by President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s.
But such a gathering does not appear to be in the works.
“The only thing I hope he doesn’t ask us to do is go to Camp David,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters at her weekly news conference. “A drive down the street to these meetings is one thing. I want (Camp David) to be preserved as a place where a president can go to renew, to study, to prepare for the next week. I want it to be a place where the president takes heads of state to close out all other concerns and stay focused on resolving global problems. I don’t want it to be a place where the president has to continue to listen to some of this stuff.”
Pelosi added that “it’s time to freeze the design” of a deal, ideally by the end of Friday’s meeting.
One reporter at Thursday’s news conference asked Pelosi whether she liked s’mores,
“S’mores?” Pelosi responded. “I’m from California. S’mores are big for us. I have five children, nine grandchildren. S’mores are big for us.”
“I’d rather have them at home,” she added.