White House rejects McConnell invite for Obama to meet GOP

White House rejects McConnell invite for Obama to meet GOP

The White House has rejected Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Democrats see opportunity in GOP feud with business Biden resists calls to give hard-hit states more vaccines than others MORE'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.


McConnell made the invitation one day after Obama challenged Republicans to give up special tax breaks for corporate jets and major oil companies. Obama wants to include revenue from eliminating those breaks as part of a package to reduce the deficit, but Republicans are ruling out any tax increases. 

“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.”

The tough talk from Obama in Wednesday's press conference has led to a new round of criticism from GOP lawmakers, who weren't amused that the president unfavorably compared them to his teenage daughters, whom the president said do their homework on time.

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.