Update 2: White House Spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday afternoon that President Barack Obama rejected an invitation from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to meet about cutting the deficit.
“What the senator invited the president to do was to hear Senate Republicans restate their maximalist position. We know what that position is,” Carney said.
Update: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is inviting President Barack Obama to the Capitol to hear first-hand why his proposed tax increases will not pass, The Associated Press is reporting.
According to a schedule released by the White House, Obama is set to have lunch with Vice President Joe Biden today, before flying to Philadelphia to speak at a DNC fundraiser this afternoon.
Original: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced Thursday morning that the Senate will remain in session next week, cancelling a planned vacation to work on a deal to lower the deficit and raise the debt ceiling.
The decision comes one day after President Barack Obama publicly chastised Congress for taking too many vacations instead of negotiating an agreement to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit before the government defaults on August 2.
“They’re in one week, they’re out one week,” Obama said during a nationally televised press conference yesterday. “And then they’re saying, Obama has got to step in. You need to be here. ‘ve been here. I’ve been doing Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Greek crisis. You stay here. Let’s get it done.”
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner had a different response for the President, saying he had been absent from negotiations to reach a deficit reduction agreement to go along with the debt ceiling hike.
“His administration has been burying our kids and grandkids in new debt and offered no plan to rein in spending,” Boehner said yesterday. “The President has been AWOL from that debate.”
Democrats and Republicans are preparing for a contentious fight over tax increases next month — Obama insists any deal to raise the debt ceiling must include the elimination of tax breaks and subsidies, while Republicans says they will not agree to any revenue increases.
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