POLITICS: PennAve

Obama calls Dem leaders ahead of budget conference

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Harry Reid,Debt Ceiling,Nancy Pelosi,PennAve,Budgets and Deficits,Government Shutdown,Meghashyam Mali,Chris Van Hollen

President Obama on Friday spoke with Democratic leaders ahead of next week's House-Senate budget conference, urging them to back policies that bolster the economy and middle class jobs, the White House announced.

Obama spoke to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., during a conference call, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One.

“The president thanked the leaders for their efforts to find solutions to the budget challenges and reiterated a shared principle that we should focus first and foremost on how we can grow our economy and create good jobs with good wages for middle class families,“ Earnest said.

“These are the policies that leaders in Washington, D.C., should support so that we can actually make progress when it comes to our economy and not undermine our economic recovery." he added.

Obama did not call Republican leaders.

Murray and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will begin budget talks Oct. 30. The talks come following a fiscal fight that led to a 17-day government shutdown and the U.S. coming within hours of hitting its borrowing limit and defaulting on its debt.

The deal ending that standoff funds the government until Jan. 15, raises the debt limit until Feb. 7 and calls on the budget committee to report by mid-December. But experts say it is unlikely they will reach a grand bargain.

The budgets passed by the House and Senate earlier this year are $90 billion apart and both parties are split on finding a replacement for the next round of sequester cuts set to take place in January.

Following the shutdown, Obama urged Congress to pass a budget this year, along with immigration reform and a farm bill.

Earnest’s comments came as the president headed to New York to speak at a high school and tout education spending that the White House says will help create new jobs and boost the economy.

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