Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcCain hopes Americans can be confident GOP-controlled Congress can investigate president GOP Congress unnerved by Trump bumps Top Dem: GOP is terrified of Trump MORE and Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE are opening budget negotiations with President Obama.
McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday that he and BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE (R-Ohio) spoke to Obama last week and expect to sit down more officially with the administration "soon."
GOP leaders want to strike a deal on the top-line budget numbers for fiscal 2016 and 2017 so they can avoid a messy standoff and possible government shutdown during an election year.
“We’d like to settle the top line for both years so that next year we could have a regular appropriations process. The president, Speaker Boehner and I spoke about getting started in the discussions last week and I would expect them to start very soon,” McConnell said.
Boehner, who is resigning from Congress at the end of October, indicated Sunday that he’d like to make life a little easier for the next Speaker by clearing the decks of some difficult issues.
“I don’t want to leave my successor a dirty barn. I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets there,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
But whether Boehner and McConnell will be able to reach a deal with the administration that is acceptable to their members remains to be seen.
Democrats are demanding that budget caps be lifted for all government spending, while Republicans are pushing an increase solely for defense programs.
— This story was last updated at 4:04 p.m.