President Barack Obama will sit down on Thursday with some of his main adversaries in the fight over raising the U.S. debt ceiling and ending a government shutdown, meeting with Republicans who control the House of Representatives.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, the top U.S. Republican in Washington, said Boehner, his deputy, Eric Cantor, and various other House Republicans will meet with Obama.
The list includes at least two tea party conservatives, Florida Representative Steve Southerland and Lynn Jenkins of Kansas.
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The Boehner spokesman, Brendan Buck, said the White House invited all House Republicans but that Boehner is limiting the group to 18 people, including committee chairs.
Obama is to meet House Democrats on Wednesday.
"Nine days into a government shutdown and a week away from breaching the debt ceiling, a meeting is only worthwhile if it is focused on finding a solution," said Buck.
The White House criticized Boehner for his decision not to let all House Republicans attend the meeting.
The president has been attempting to persuade moderate Republicans to break from tea party conservatives and force Boehner, the top Republican in Washington, to allow a vote on a short-term spending bill to end a U.S. government shutdown and take the threat of a debt default off the table.
"President Obama is disappointed that Speaker Boehner is preventing his members from coming to the White House," White House spokesman Jay Carney.
The White House has invited all House Republicans to a meeting on Thursday but Boehner limited the group to 18 Republicans who hold leadership positions.
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"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," Carney said.
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