WASHINGTON–With much of federal government shut down for a second day, President Barack Obama will meet with the four top congressional leaders Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. ET
Meanwhile, the Senate Democratic leaders Harry Reid (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Patty Murray (D-WA) hold a press conference in the Capitol today “to propose a new path forward to reopen the government and engage in serious, long term budget negotiations.”
“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,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)
Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said, “Just yesterday, the President reaffirmed that he would not negotiate with Congress, and Senate Democrats actually voted not to negotiate.
“So frankly, we’re a little confused as to the purpose of this meeting. If the President wants to sit on the sidelines during this critical debate and is serious about Congress finding a solution, then he will urge Senate Democrats to agree to the request by the House of Representatives to convene a conference committee.”
A spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) confirmed her attendance at the meeting.