Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
- Political Headlines: Congress, Boehner Urge Obama to Act Quickly on Budget Agreement: House Republicans arrived at the White House on Wednesday for a meeting with the president to focus on the debt limit.
Speaker John A. Boehner said Wednesday that Congress and the White House should try to reach an agreement within the next month that would combine an increase in the federal debt limit with deep spending cuts, and he called on President Obama to play a larger role in negotiations.
In a meeting with reporters after a White House session between House Republicans and the president, Mr. Boehner said a budget deal well in advance of the Treasury Department’s Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling could avoid the prospect of adverse market reactions.
“This really needs to be done over the next month if we are serious about no brinksmanship and no rattling investors,” Mr. Boehner said.
“The president could engage himself,” he added. “I’m willing. I’m ready. It is time to have the conversation. It is time to play large ball, not small ball.”
A bipartisan team of lawmakers from the House and Senate has been meeting with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to fashion a budget agreement that could clear the way for a vote to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit, a step Mr. Boehner and other Republicans say they will not take without corresponding spending cuts. The speaker said the group was making marginal progress but at its current pace would brush up against the August deadline.
Mr. Boehner said he had had no discussions with the White House about involving the president in the negotiations.
As the Biden negotiations have been unfolding, it was considered likely that Mr. Boehner would have to agree on any package negotiated by lawmakers who included Representative Eric Cantor, the Virginia Republican and majority leader. Aides said Mr. Boehner’s comments were not meant to be critical of the Biden talks…. – NYT, 6-2-11