WASHINGTON, D.C. Indiana Congressman Marlin Stutzman described a White House meeting between President Obama and House Republicans Wednesday as “very cordial” but said it was relatively light on substance.
Republicans and the White House are at odds over raising the nation’s debtlimit. The U.S. has hit that limit and could default on its debt if the borrowing limit is not raised by August 2.
Republicans are refusing to approve the debtlimit increase without the White House agreeing to spending cuts topping a trillion dollars at the same time. The White House is insisting that in addition to spending restraint, the deficit trimming must include tax increases that Republicans say are off the table.
In an interview with ABC News after the meeting, Stutzman agreed with other Republicans and the White House in calling it “a good step.” He did, however, characterize it as a gettoknowyou session as opposed to negotiations.
Stutzman added that Republicans want to resolve the debtlimit debate before the August 2 deadline and that he believed House Republicans “moved the ball down the field” Tuesday in rejecting the Obama Administration’s request for an outright raising of the debtlimit. Click here to see Congressman Stutzman’s full interview with ABC .
The Associated Press also reported that GOP leaders complained to the president during Wednesday’s meeting that he had not produced a detailed plan of spending cuts and accused him of playing politics over Medicare as the nation careens toward a debt crisis.
The White House said Obama had in fact led on the issue and made clear that he had no intention of dropping what Democrats believe is a winning political issue: accusing the GOP of trying to destroy the popular health care program for seniors. Republicans said their plan would save Medicare, not end it, and they in turn accused Obama of failing to present any proposals to preserve Medicare or drive down deficits at all.