House Republican leaders rejected President Obama’s offer to host the entire House GOP caucus at the White House on Thursday, countering that they would instead send their elected leaders and key committee chairmen to talk.
The GOP said the move was aimed at making sure the talks were substantive.
“Nine days into a government shutdown and a week away from breaching the debt ceiling, a meeting is only worthwhile if it is focused on finding a solution,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner.
The White House said Mr. Obama was “disappointed” that Mr. Boehner had prevented all Republicans from coming.
“The president thought it was important to talk directly with the members who forced this economic crisis on the country about how the shutdown and a failure to pay the country’s bills could devastate the economy,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
Mr. Obama was slated to meet with House Democrats on Wednesday afternoon, and with the other three party caucuses from the House and Senate later this week.