So much for not negotiating.
President Obama will meet with a group of House Republicans on Thursday to discuss a possible deal that would both reopen the government and ensure that the nation's rapidly approaching borrowing limit is extended on time.
Obama sent the invitation a day after calling House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and telling him he'll negotiate only after the GOP agrees to fund the federal government with a no-strings-attached measure. Obama also offered to raise the debt ceiling temporarily to give negotiators more time to talk, but Boehner rejected the proposal, calling it "unconditional surrender."
The sit-downs appear to signal that Obama recognizes that both sides will have to make concessions despite his earlier declarations that he won't negotiate and increase in the debt ceiling. For Republicans, the meeting will at least allow them to talk directly to Obama about conditions for a deal.
The president plans to meet this week with House and Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans as well.
Obama wanted all 232 Republican House members to come to the White House Thursday evening, but Republican leaders limit its delegation to meet with Obama only to "elected leaders" and "certain committee chairman."
Boehner's decision not to take his entire majority with him means dozens of GOP lawmakers who have been fighting hardest to derail or delay Obamacare during budget negotiations won't be allowed to attend.
The White House said Obama was "disappointed" that only the Republican leadership was going to meet with him.
“President Obama is disappointed that Speaker Boehner is preventing his members from coming to the White House," spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "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."
Attending with Boehner are Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; and nine other GOP leaders. Also in the delegation are House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., will be there, as will House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon, R-Calif.