Two Republicans representing Congress at a forthcoming meeting with Vice President Joe Biden on debt reduction say they need more information from the Obama administration before they can constructively participate in negotiations.
In a letter to Biden, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) press for a fully fleshed-out version of President Obama’s plan to reduce the deficit.“For these discussions to be productive and so that we can appropriately consider the President’s request to increase the statutory debt limit, we anticipate that the President will submit a request outlining the amount requested to increase the debt limit, along with any policy proposals to reduce spending and reform the budget process,” Cantor and Kyl write. “Because all proposals we consider will need to be scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, we ask that the Administration’s submission is either in legislative form or sufficiently detailed for review and scoring by CBO. Such information will be necessary to have meaningful discussions regarding a legislative framework.”
Note again the conflation of the ideas of spending and debt. Republicans have been publicly critical of Obama for outlining a framework for debt reduction without putting it in writing, and this suggests an attempt to stymie the negotiations. However, at his weekly press conference Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said negotiators will meet “Thursday to go over the President’s new proposal, which will be the proposal he gave the speech on, but put in writing.”
So they may get their wish. You can read their letter here.