The meeting on the Bush tax cuts between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders that was scheduled for Thursday has been postponed until Nov. 30 at the request of Republican congressional leaders, who cited “scheduling conflicts.”
Obama had announced the meeting after the midterm elections cost Democrats their majority in the House and narrowed their majority in the Senate. The delay will mean that Congress will have even less time to resolve the battle over the tax cuts, which expire at the end of the year, during the short lame duck session.
“We'll have a meeting so that we can discuss issues that Republicans have long said can be accomplished together,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., according to Politico.com. “These include reducing spending, growing jobs through increased trade and increasing domestic energy. The Leader is encouraged that the President wants to discuss these areas of agreement.”
Top Republicans, such as Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said they had not received invitations to the meeting and that it was never formally scheduled. In addition, Republicans say their schedule is also crowded with meetings with incoming freshmen lawmakers. McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who is expected to become Speaker of the House next January, also said there were scheduling conflicts in organizing their caucuses.
“At the request of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner due to scheduling conflicts in organizing their caucuses, the President’s meeting with bipartisan leaders will now take place at the White House on Tuesday, November 30th,” said a White House statement.
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