Boehner withdraws from talks, Obama summons anew on Saturday
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Speaker John Boehner has broken off talks with President Barack Obama on a deal to make major cuts in federal spending and raise the nation's debt ceiling.
A clearly annoyed Obama told reporters Friday evening that Boehner had again left him "at the altar" despite concessions that were making Democratic lawmakers unhappy. He accused Republicans of avoiding tough decisions and said they need to decide whether they can "say yes to anything?"
Boehner countered that Obama had been "moving the goal posts," demanding more tax increases on top of a rewrite of the tax code that would have yielded $800 billion in revenues.
Still, both Boehner and Obama expressed confidence that the debt limit would be raised before the Aug. 2 deadline. But for the first time, the president declined to offer assurances that a government default would be avoided.
Obama has summoned Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to the White House Saturday morning. He says he expects them to explain how they intend to avoid default.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)