Boehner, Pelosi meet, can't agree on who called sit down

ADVERTISEMENT
The meeting came hours before Pelosi, Hoyer and the rest of the House Democratic caucus was scheduled to meet with President Obama in the White House.

“Reps. Pelosi and Hoyer asked for the meeting, and as we’ve stated publicly, we're willing to meet with any Democratic leader who is willing to talk," BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE spokesman Michael Steel said.

However, Pelosi claimed that Boehner had asked for the meeting.

She said in a statement that she pressed the speaker to bring up a clean government funding bill to end the shutdown during the meeting.

“Yesterday when I was asked by the Speaker to meet today, I was hopeful he was going to offer a proposal that would allow us to re-open government, avert a default that would harm the full faith and credit of the United States, and take us to the budget conference table," she said.

“Whip Hoyer and I reiterated that there are 200 Democratic votes to accept the Republican budget number of $986 billion to re-open government, and that we would agree to smooth the path to a budget conference. We were disappointed the Speaker did not take ‘yes’ for an answer," she added.

Boehner was mum after the meeting, which also included Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorEric Cantor: Moore ‘deserves to lose’ If we want to make immigration great again, let's make it bipartisan Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns MORE (R-Va.).

The Speaker went quickly afterward to the House floor to again call for changes to ObamaCare — the original demand that led to the government shutdown, now in its ninth day.

"How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn't work?" he asked on the House floor.

Boehner has been calling on Democrats for days to negotiate over the crisis, but Democrats have responded by demanding the government be reopened first. 

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year MORE (R-Wis.) has been trying to shift the fiscal conversation toward major entitlement reform. In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday, he called for a wider bargain to end the shutdown and debt ceiling impasse, and that op-ed did not discuss ObamaCare defunding.

Ryan's piece drew criticism Wednesday from Heritage Action chief executive Michael Needham, who has been spearheading the lobbying effort to tie government funding to ObamaCare.