President Barack Obama has agreed to negotiate a deal to cut spending in return for a vote to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, House Speaker John Boehner suggested shortly after a meeting with the president at the White House Wednesday.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said this week that the president wants to pursue a “clean” vote to raise the debt limit — meaning with no strings attached — but a reporter asked Boehner if Obama had indicated an openness to consider Republican demands to go along with the vote.
“Yes,” Boehner said, without offering any further details.
Republican leaders have said that they will urge their members to vote to increase the nation’s debt cap, now over $14 trillion, on the condition that they see efforts to reduce government spending.
Boehner on Saturday said there was “not a chance” that Congress would send a debt ceiling bill without conditions to the White House.
The shift is perhaps another sign of Obama’s willingness to compromise, a theme Republicans are noticing. After the battle over the Bush-era tax cuts, the continuing resolution deal to cut $38 billion from the federal budget, and now the debt ceiling, Republicans appear to almost expect the White House to bend.
“We continue to move this president places he never said he would go,” McCarthy said during a Wednesday morning press conference. “Think for one moment: In the State of the Union, the president stood out here and said, we would freeze government. Our Speaker negotiated, out numbered three to one. We have cut spending.”