Vice President Joe Biden “will convene a meeting of Congressional leaders of both parties in the Capitol Thursday afternoon in an effort to find a way out of a spending dispute that has the entire government operating under a stop-gap budget,” the New York Times reports.
The White House announced that what could be the first of several sessions of talks would be held at 4 p.m. Also taking part from the Obama administration will be Chief of Staff William Daley and Jacob Lew, the budget director. President Obama called for the negotiations on Wednesday.
When they first heard of the planned talks, Republicans were not enthusiastic since Democrats have not yet made public their own plan for spending cuts and the House has approved $61 billion in reductions. But Republicans said they would take part. They continued to press on Thursday for a Democratic proposal.
“Republicans are happy to go,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said. “But putting a meeting on the schedule doesn’t change the fact that neither the White House nor a single Democrat in Congress has proposed a plan that would allow the government to remain open and that would respond to the voters by reining in spending. All we get is talk.”