Obama calls Hill leaders to White House for talks on avoiding shutdown

President Obama is calling congressional leaders to the White House on Tuesday to try and forge a last-ditch deal on a spending plan to avert a federal government shutdown at midnight Friday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama's face-to-face meeting with House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and others is being called because "time is of the essence."

A spokesman for Boehner confirmed the invitation. "The speaker hopes to meet with the president to discuss the need to keep the government open while making real cuts in spending, and we're working with the White House to schedule that meeting," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and the White House have been negotiating a deal that would fund the remainder of the fiscal year while cutting about $33 billion from current spending levels. The parties are still deciding what to cut to get to that level of reduction, Democrats have said.

Much of the uncertainty about the prospects for a deal seems to hinge on whether Boehner can convince enough members of his own conference to vote for a bill in which the proposed cuts are so much smaller than those already passed by the House. The GOP funding bill cuts $61 billion from current levels.

What Boehner will be able to offer from his side at Tuesday's White House meeting will hinge on the outcome of discussions planned for Monday night with the House Republican conference. Hard-liners in the House GOP have continued to press for nothing less than a spending plan that cuts $61 billion from current levels.

Tuesday's meeting also will come on the day House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is to unveil a fiscal 2012 budget plan that would cut at least $4 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years, reshape Medicare, and change Medicaid into a program of block grants to the states. But it's the lack of a spending plan for the remaining months of fiscal 2011 that is likely to dominate attention at the meeting.

Obama spoke by telephone with Boehner and Reid on Saturday, urging them to reach a deal and underscoring that a shutdown would hurt the economy. Other lawmakers expected to be at Tuesday's meeting with Boehner and Reid are House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., and Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii.

But whether Congress can reach a compromise funding deal by the Friday night deadline remains uncertain.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.