GOP Congresswoman: Meeting With Obama 'Frank, Open'

Thursday, 10 Oct 2013 09:22 PM

By Greg Richter

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Two House Republicans who were part of the 20-member delegation meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday say the meeting went well and that Obama did not rule out negotiating or keeping healthcare on the table.

The meeting represented the "first time we've sat down in a frank and open way," Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., said on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

The discussion included a temporary extension of the debt ceiling and how to move forward on the budget, Wagner said. Committee chairpeople talked to Obama about tax reform, budget issues and entitlement reform, she told Cooper.

Obama talked about the Affordable Care Act, and leaving it on the negotiating table, she noted, even though the president has previously said he would not tie any talks to delaying the individual mandate of Obamacare

Obama also talked about ratcheting down the rhetoric on all sides, she added, saying, "Fearmongering is not right."

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who also was in the meeting, told Fox News Channel that Obama "didn't say yes and he didn't say no," to negotiations.

He also noted on Fox News' "On the Record" that the current Congress is the first since the Korean War to lower spending "year over year."

"So even though we only have one house, by going through that we have lowered what we spend. We have taken discretionary money downward," he said. "Now we've got to talk about mandatory, and that's the discussion we want to have for the next five weeks."

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