Speaker John Boehner, his top House GOP lieutenants, and some House committee chairmen are headed to the White House on Thursday for talk with the president on the government shutdown and the looming deadline on raising the nation’s ability to borrow.
The entire 233-member House GOP conference was to be invited, according to a Boehner spokesman. But the decision was to send a small group.
“Nine days into a government shutdown and a week away from breaching the debt ceiling, a meeting is only worthwhile if it is focused on finding a solution,” said the spokesman, Brendan Buck.
“It is our hope that this will be a constructive meeting and that the president finally recognizes Americans expect their leaders to be able to sit down and resolve their differences,” said Buck.
The timing of the meeting will be announced by the White House, he said.
Meanwhile, the White House issued a statement that showed its disapproval of Boehner’s decision to limit the Republicans who come to the White House.
“President Obama is disappointed that Speaker Boehner is preventing his members from coming to the White House,” said Jay Carney, White House press secretary. “The President thought it was important to talk directly with the members who forced this economic crisis on the country about how the shutdown and a failure to pay the country’s bills could devastate the economy. The President will talk to anyone anytime and looks forward to their visit to the White House, but will not pay the Republicans ransom for doing their job. If the Republicans want to have a real discussion they should open the government and take the threat of default off the table.”
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Ways and Means Chairman David Camp, R-Mich., Appropriations Chairman Harold Rodgers, R-Ky., Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Tex., and 10 others.
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The House has scheduled leadership votes for Nov. 15, the day after members return from their election recess. "Since mid-September, members of the House Freedom Caucus have weighed whether they should ask leadership to push back the elections so they can see how House Speaker Paul Ryan performs at the end of the year," but leaders don't seem inclined to grant their request.
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Hillary Clinton is eyeing Vice President Joe Biden to be her secretary of state, and her campaign is trying to figure out the best way to broach the idea with Biden. Biden has a lifetime of foreign policy experience, serving as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; he can also put eight years as vice president on his foreign policy resume. Biden has previously stated that he would not work in a Clinton administration, so it might be a tough sell for the Clinton camp.