House Republicans will head to the White House Wednesday for their first conference meeting with President Barack Obama, as Congress gears up for a battle over raising the nation’s borrowing limit.
The meeting, which will take place in the White House’s East Room Tuesday morning, will be the president’s first full introduction to the House Republican Conference.
In advance of the meeting, Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) staff released a statement signed by 150 economists arguing that Congress should offset the debt ceiling hike with spending cuts. Boehner himself took that position in a speech last month to the Economic Club of New York. The statement is expected to come up at the meeting with Obama.
“An increase in the national debt limit that is not accompanied by significant spending cuts and budget reforms to address our government’s spending addiction will harm private-sector job creation in America,” the statement read. “It is critical that any debt limit legislation enacted by Congress include spending cuts and reforms that are greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority being granted to the president.”
The meeting with Obama comes the day after the House overwhelmingly rejected a measure to hike the debt ceiling without accompanying spending cuts. It was intended to be a sign to Democrats that Congress does not have the appetite — or desire — to raise the debt ceiling without reforms to spending, but it was taken largely as political theater, as some Democrats who support a clean increase in the statutory spending limit voted against the measure.
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