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 Senate standstill over a stopgap spending bill appeared headed toward a resolution on Friday night. Senators who were holding up the measure said votes are expected later in the evening. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin had raised objections to the continuing resolution because it did not include a full year's extension of retired coal miners' health benefits," but Manchin "said he and other coal state Democrats agreed with Senate Democratic leaders during a caucus meeting Thursday that they would not block the continuing resolution, but rather use the shutdown threat as a way to highlight the health care and pension needs of the miners."
Donald Trump transition team announced Friday afternoon that top supporter Rudy Giuliani has taken himself out of the running to be in Trump's cabinet, though CNN previously reported that it was Trump who informed the former New York City mayor that he would not be receiving a slot. While the field had seemingly been narrowed last week, it appears to be wide open once again, with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the current favorite.
Given the Senate's inaction on the continuing budget resolution (so far), the White House "said it has begun to work with agencies to prepare for the possibility of a large swath of the federal workforce being furloughed without pay beginning at midnight." Even if a shutdown occurs, however, "Senate procedures will allow the chamber to approve the CR with only a handful of Democrats in support by Sunday morning. Of the roughly 900,000 federal employees who were subject to furloughs in agencies’ most recent calculations, most would not be materially impacted as they do not work on weekends."
The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.