By Alexander Bolton and Sam Youngman - 06/30/11 04:46 PM EDT
The White House has rejected Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's (Ky.) invitation for President Obama to meet Thursday with Senate Republicans about their position on the debt-ceiling talks.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said McConnell was asking Obama to visit and "hear Republicans restate their maximalist position" in the negotiations to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.
"We know that position. That's not a conversation worth having," Carney said at his daily briefing.
“I’d like to invite the president to come to the Capitol today to meet with Senate Republicans — any time this afternoon, if he’s available, to come on up to the Capitol,” McConnell said. “That way he can hear directly from Senate Republicans … why what he’s proposing will not pass.”
Obama also mocked the GOP's recesses, and urged them to do their job and reach a deal to lower annual deficits and raise the debt ceiling.
The criticism drew a sharp response from McConnell, who in remarks on the Senate floor said that once Obama learns from GOP lawmakers that ending special tax breaks for oil companies and wealthy families has no chance of passing the Senate, “we can start talking about — maybe, finally — start talking about what’s actually possible.”
Obama is scheduled to be in Washington on Thursday afternoon until about 3:30, when he is flying to Philadelphia, where he will speak at two fundraisers.