President Barack Obama has finally invited congressional leaders to the White House to discuss the government shutdown and the debt ceiling, according to spokeswoman Amy Brundage.
Speaker John A. Boehner, R-OH, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, have been asked to attend a meeting at 5:30 PM ET.
During the shutdown there has been a complete lack of communication among the top leaders until now, with Boehner demanding the president agree to roll back the Affordable Care Act and Obama and Reid refusing to consider any such concessions under threat of shutdown or default.
Prior to the shutdown, People’s Pundit Daily reported that Harry Reid had told President Obama that if he was to call a meeting of this nature, he wouldn’t even bother showing up. Harry Reid also refused to call back the Senate into before today’s scheduled 2 p.m. ET session.
But that majority leader’s willingness to sit in a room and talk has now change, apparently. With the shutdown in effect, there is little incentive for the Democrats to make concessions on any part of the government funding bill, including the popular provisions repealing the medical tax and individual mandate waiver for congressional members.
The single-most sticky point to the negotiations will most certainly be the Republicans’ demand to wave or delay the individual mandate for individuals, as they have unilaterally done for big business.
Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck released a statement welcoming the invite. It read:
We’re pleased the president finally recognizes that his refusal to negotiate is indefensible. It’s unclear why we’d be having this meeting if it’s not meant to be a start to serious talks between the two parties.
We will continue to keep coverage of the shutdown negotiations up-to-date, as well as another story making the rounds today if we can independently verify it.
Politico first reported that Harry Reid’s office had leaked emails between the majority leader and the Speaker pertaining to congressional exemptions to Obamacare. If it is true, then establishment Republicans will have a lot to answer for to the Republican base, as well as the American people, at whole.
The Republican basis for shutting down the government was contingent upon the idea that Obamacare was and is unfair, for treating two classes of citizens completely different under the law. If it turns out that Speaker Boehner and Beltway Republicans were negotiating with the Democrats to figure out how and when to exempt themselves from the “train-wreck” of a law, then it could spell disaster for the Republican Party, far more so than any manufactured adverse reaction to a government shutdown. You can read about how and why the theory is debunked, by clicking here.