Boehner clears slate to focus on debt talks

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has "cleared his schedule" of politicking on Monday to concentrate on debt-limit negotiations.

Boehner, like President Obama, won't attend any fundraisers on Monday amid intensified battles over how to reach a deal to cut spending in exchange for a House vote to raise the debt ceiling.

"The Speaker cleared his schedule for the day to focus on a framework that ensures reforms and spending cuts larger than any debt-limit hike," said Cory Fritz, a spokesman for Boehner's political arm.

As the Aug. 2 deadline by which lawmakers must raise the debt limit approaches, lawmakers might suffer from poor optics if they appear to be spending time raising campaign cash that could otherwise be devoted to negotiations.

That sort of ethic prompted Obama to withdraw from speaking at two Democratic Party events here in Washington this evening; Vice President Biden will continue with a separately planned appearance at an event tonight.

It's not clear whether the president will continue to pull out of fundraisers; Boehner's team is evaluating his schedule on a daily basis.

"The Speaker will continue to evaluate his schedule on a day-to-day basis until a solution is at hand," said Fritz.

Spokesmen for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did not respond to emails seeking comment.

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