The Washington Times - July 30, 2011, 01:48PM

A week after House Speaker John A. Boehner cut President Obama out of debt talks, the Senate’s top Republican wants him back in.

“We’ve got to have the president at the table,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said Saturday morning on the chamber floor.


But that stands in stark contrast with Republicans’ call just a week ago, when Mr. Boehner said working with Mr. Obama was like “dealing with Jell-o” and said he would instead work with congressional Democrats.

The congressional talks helped to slim down the options under consideration. But it ended up producing both a Republican plan, which passed the House but was blocked in the Senate on Friday, and a Democratic plan, which still awaits votes this weekend but which is unlikely to pass either chamber.

Now, Mr. McConnell said only the president can break the stalemate by signaling what agreement he could accept.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, countered that the president has already done that, saying he backs Democrats’ proposal that will be voted for. Mr. Reid also said the president has signaled he is eager to talk with members of Congress.

“He is willing to work with anybody who will give him a proposal,” Mr. Reid said.