Republican leaders on Tuesday had sharp criticism for President Obama and Democrats ahead of their latest White House meeting aimed at tackling the country’s debt problem.
“In my view, the president has presented us with three choices: smoke and mirrors, tax hikes or default. Republicans choose none of the above,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday morning. “I had hoped to do good; but I refuse to do harm.”
McConnell, who is set to huddle with Obama, Vice President Biden and bipartisan, bicameral leaders at the White House at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, accused the administration of supporting “budget gimmicks” and “deferred decision-making” in the debt-limit talks.
“The practical effect would have been at most about a couple of billion dollars in cuts up front with empty promises of more to follow,” he said, adding that he was “proud of the fact that Republicans refused to play along.”
House Republicans held a ninety-minute-long conference meeting Tuesday morning focused on the ongoing debt-limit negotiations. Attendees exiting the meeting said that leaders presented the details of the budget savings that had been identified in the Biden-led negotiations before House Republicans exited them late last month. Also discussed Tuesday morning was an upcoming balanced budget amendment vote in the House, scheduled for next week.
House Democrats also held their weekly caucus meeting at the Capitol Tuesday morning. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other House Democratic women were slated to hold a 12:30 p.m. news conference focusing on Social Security and Medicare in the debt limit fight.