White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday said President Obama is “disappointed” that Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying World Freedom Caucus wants budget reforms attached to debt limit increase Trey Gowdy announces retirement from Congress MORE (R-Ohio) is “preventing his members from coming to the White House” to discuss the shutdown and debt ceiling.

“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,” Carney said in a statement. 

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The White House had invited the full Republican caucus to participate in a meeting with the president, but the Speaker opted to send a smaller delegation, including leadership members and committee chairmen, a BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying World Freedom Caucus wants budget reforms attached to debt limit increase Trey Gowdy announces retirement from Congress MORE aide said earlier Wednesday.

"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," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said. "That’s why the House Republican Conference will instead be represented by a smaller group of negotiators, including the elected leadership and certain committee chairmen."

Calling the 18 participants "negotiators" is likely to needle the White House, which has insisted repeatedly that it is unwilling to offer concessions in exchange for reopening the government or averting the debt ceiling.

But the composition of the smaller group could be an encouraging sign for a deal. In bringing only top committee chairmen and leadership members, the Tea Party-aligned backbenchers who drove Boehner to demand a delay or defunding of ObamaCare will not be present.

“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," Carney said. "If the Republicans want to have a real discussion they should open the government and take the threat of default off the table.”

Along with Boehner, attendees will include House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan Cantor'Release the memo' — let's stop pretending that Democrats are the defenders of the FBI Raúl Labrador, a model for Hispanic politicians reaching higher Eric Cantor: Moore ‘deserves to lose’ MORE (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersOvernight Health Care: GOP chair blasts DEA over opioid enforcement | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Patient groups oppose 'right to try' drug bill Overnight Regulation: EPA sued over water rule delay | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Regulators talk bitcoin | Patient groups oppose FDA 'right to try' bill House passes bill to ease menu labeling rules under ObamaCare MORE (R-Wash.) and Policy Committee Chairman James Lankford (R-Okla.).

Also attending are Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxStudents drowning in debt bewildered by claims college is a 'hammock' GOP bill scraps voter registration requirements for colleges GOP looks to scrap Obama-era rule on college credit hours MORE (R-N.C.), Steve Southerland (R-Fla.), Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Peter Roskam (R-Ill.)

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Overnight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 House passes stopgap spending measure with defense money MORE (R-Wis.), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) will also make the trip. 

The meeting with Republicans follows a conference Wednesday at the White House with all House Democrats. The Senate Democratic and Republican conferences have also been invited.

--This report was originally published at 2:48 p.m. and last updated at 3:35 p.m.