‘Good’ not great: No deal as Boehner talks to Obama about shutdown

Jonathan Strong Contributor
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Democratic President Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have not reached an agreement on a spending bill to fund the government for the rest of the year according to a statement from Boehner’s office.

“While there was a good discussion, no agreement was reached,” the statement says.

A three-week spending bill expires April 8 at which point the government will shut down.

Republicans are pushing for $61 billion in cuts while Democrats are pushing for $33 billion in cuts, however, the shape of those cuts is different and Republicans object to the Democrats’ proposed cuts as “budget gimmicks.”

Also at issue are a series of policy “riders” that restrict big swaths of the president’s domestic agenda, including Obamacare and EPA regulations.

Republicans are sitting on a one-week spending bill to allow more time to negotiate but haven’t decided whether they will bring it to the House floor. That bill would cut another $12 billion on top of $10 billion in cuts in two short-term spending bills already passed to give top party leaders time to work out a deal.

Boehner also tweeted at about 11:30 a.m., “It’s become sadly evident to me that the White House and Senate Democrats are just not serious yet about enacting real spending cuts.” The meeting with Obama was scheduled for 10:15 a.m.

Update: A spokesman for Boehner says the pessimistic tweet was “not in response” to the meeting at the White House.