GOP leaders: Don't use current health bills for summit starting point


House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Republicans are right to be reluctant in embracing a summit if the president is unwilling to start the talks from scratch.

“If the starting point for this meeting is the job-killing bills the American people have already soundly rejected, Republicans would rightly be reluctant to participate,” the pair explained in a letter to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

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They also said President Barack Obama should remove reconciliation from the table. Using budget reconciliation rules to move healthcare reform in the Senate would mean Democrats would only need 51 votes on procedural measures instead of 60.

The two sent a letter to Emanuel late Monday demanding answers to unresolved questions regarding the summit, which is scheduled for Feb. 25th.

On Sunday afternoon however, Obama refused to say he would start from scratch.

During a Super Bowl pre-game interview on CBS, Obama announced his plans to hold the summit, which he said would be televised.

“I’m going to ask Republicans to put their ideas on the table,” and then two weeks later will “have a large meeting to go through systematically all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward," he said.

The guest list for the summit has yet to be released.

A White House senior aide told The Hill that details regarding the healthcare summit would be forthcoming in the near future.