The day after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia walked out on bipartisan budget talks with Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House John Boehner, who is now the point man in reaching a deal with President Obama, drew a clear line in the sand on future negotiations.
And on Friday morning, the White House announced that the President and Vice President will be meeting with Senate leadership on Monday to discuss reaching a deal on deficit reduction.
Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden separately, Monday, according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
The Republican-controlled House, however, has a high litmus test for any deal on the budget or raising of the debt limit.
“The American people voted for a new majority in the House with clear orders to end the spending binge in Washington,” said Boehner in a statement Friday. “The American people will not accept an increase in the debt limit that is accompanied by job-crushing tax hikes and fails to dramatically cut and reform government spending.”
“The president and his party may want a debt limit increase that includes tax hikes, but such a proposal cannot pass the House.” the Speaker added. “The president and his party may want a debt limit increase without spending cuts that exceed the amount of the debt limit hike, but such a proposal cannot pass the House. The president and his party may want a debt limit increase without budget reforms that will restrict Washington’s ability to spend in the future, but such a proposal cannot pass the House.”
This is not the first time Boehner has warned the White House that any suggestions of tax increases are non-starters. In April, he said that any proposal with a tax increase would be taken as a sign that the president is not serious about tackling the deficit.
Until now, President Obama has been absent in debt-limit negotiating meetings with members of Congress. But so has Speaker Boehner. Now though, a final deal on raising the debt limit is expected to be worked face-to-face between the two men, not unlike the precedent that was set in the spring with the near government shutdown.
Then, White House negotiators and representatives from Congress dug in their heels until Obama and Boehner worked out an 11th-hour deal.