Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden: Trump family separation policy could make the US a pariah Elizabeth Warren can unify Democrats and take back the White House Giuliani doubles down on Biden comments: 'I meant that he’s dumb' MORE's time would be better spent hammering out Democrats' policy than negotiating differences with Republicans, House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE (R-Ohio) said Wednesday evening.

BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE, in response to a plan to have Biden negotiate with the GOP over spending legislation after congressional talks degenerated into public bickering, didn't rule out the idea, but hardly seemed thrilled about it.

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"I think the vice president would better spend his time if he sat down with Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAmendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary MORE, Nancy Pelosi and come up with a Democrat position," Boehner told Fox News. "It'd be a far better use of his time."

Democrats turned Wednesday to Biden to reprise his role from the lame-duck Congress when he worked with GOP leaders in Congress, particularly Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFlake threatens to limit Trump court nominees: report Senate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending MORE (R-Ky.), to reach a deal on extending the expiring Bush tax cuts.

The administration and congressional Democrats hope Biden will enjoy similar success in these negotiations, especially with such a wide chasm between the GOP-controlled House and the Democratic Senate over how much needs to be cut in the remainder of this fiscal year. The government will be funded through March 18, and the absence of congressional action would mean a shutdown.

President Obama put the squeeze on Republicans on Wednesday by releasing a statement goading them into immediately joining negotiations.

"Living with the threat of a shutdown every few weeks is not responsible, and it puts our economic progress in jeopardy," Obama said. "That’s why I’m calling on Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress to begin meeting immediately with the Vice President, my Chief of Staff [William Daley], and Budget Director [Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewOvernight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint Obama-era Treasury secretary: Tax law will make bipartisan deficit-reduction talks harder GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system MORE] so we can find common ground on a budget that makes sure we are living within our means."

But Boehner said he didn't feel as though he could really negotiate as long as Democrats hadn't actually agreed on their own spending plan.

"We've done our work. I know where we are. They know where we are. But we don't know where their position is," he said. "They don't have a position. So how do I know where they are and what we should negotiate from and what the right number is? I have no idea."