But both sides know the meeting is more about talking than negotiating.
Wednesday, scores of Republicans will head to the White House to demand that President Obama make trillions of dollars in cuts before the administration is allowed to boost the government borrowing limit.
This GOP White House sit-in comes a day after the Associated Press reported that GOP House members called for a vote on their own proposal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling without any spending cuts, and saw the gesture defeated 318–97.
The president’s allies in the House of Representatives say that tea party members among the Republicans wanted a negative response in order to use it as a cudgel against the Democrats. The Obama administration's response is that increasing government authority to borrow must happen without a battle over cutting specific programs. Another vote on raising the debt will occur this summer.
Obama knows that spending cuts must happen and has appointed Vice President Joe Biden to chair the talks over which ones to make before the August deadline the Treasury has set.
In reality, much of the battle over the debt ceiling and which programs will be trimmed are taking place in private between the White House and House leaders.
(Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)