Leaders' Friday meetings yield no budget breakthroughs

House Republican leaders met with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley on Friday as lawmakers continued to spar over the best plan for raising the debt ceiling.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) met with Geithner and Daley in the Capitol late Friday morning, a GOP leadership official said.

Boehner's and Cantor’s offices did not expand on details of the meeting that took place at 11:45 a.m.

ADVERTISEMENT
An aide told The Hill however, that Speaker Boehner invited Cantor to join the meeting.

It’s unclear whether any progress was made in the discussion, but a leadership aide said that the Speaker cleared off his schedule for the weekend.

Should President Obama recall negotiators to discussions over the weekend, Boehner is “ready to meet if and when necessary,” an aide told The Hill.

Cantor could also “be available” should leaders meet over the weekend, his aide said.

Shortly after his pow wow with Geithner and Daley, Speaker Boehner spent close to 30 minutes meeting with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Boehner would not comment on the discussion he had with Pelosi during the meeting, which was held in her Capitol office suites.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said that Pelosi requested the meeting, but did not divulge the subject matter.

"The former Speaker asked to meet with the Speaker, and they met," Steel said.

Though both leadership offices refrained to expand on the unplanned meeting, it was clear from remarks made earlier in the day that Pelosi was unhappy with Boehner’s decision to offer the “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill – a proposal championed by fiscal conservatives in the House and Senate.

The meeting happened little more than two hours after GOP leadership announced their intention to endorse the “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal, as their favored solution to the debt ceiling crisis.

Pelosi called Boehner’s intention to move the measure “outrageous,” shortly after her caucus held a closed-door meeting to discuss the ongoing negotiations impasse.

“It’s outrageous. … I want to see what it is because we just heard about it, but it is as bad as their balanced so-called—and it wasn’t a balanced budget amendment.  It was a Trojan Horse to bring in the Ryan plan again. This is even worse, from what I’ve heard. But I have to go see it,” Pelosi said.

Meanwhile, House Republicans, most of whom don’t want to raise the debt ceiling at all, applauded their leadership’s decision to call up the “Cut, Cap and Balance” bill.

The plan would authorize a $2.4 trillion increase in the borrowing limit after Congress passes a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. It would also cut spending and cap it in the future.

The GOP leaders said they would bring the package up for a vote next week.

“We asked the president to lead, we asked him to put forward a plan, not a speech, a real plan, and he hasn’t. We will,” Boehner said.

During a press conference late Friday morning, President Obama said he had not studied the new Republican proposal, but added that it “doesn't sound like a serious plan to me."

The president also rejected the balanced-budget amendment proposal, saying, "We don't need a constitutional amendment to do our jobs."


This story was originally posted Friday and has been updated.