(WASHINGTON) — The White House said on Friday it has no plans to offer new proposals to avoid the fiscal cliff which looms over the country’s economy just days away from now, but will meet Friday with Congressional leaders in a last ditch effort to forge a deal.
Republicans and Democrats made no conciliatory gestures in public on Thursday, despite the urgency.
The White House said President Obama would meet Friday with Democratic and Republican leaders. But a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the Republican, “will continue to stress that the House has already passed legislation to avert the entire fiscal cliff and now the Senate must act.”
The White House announced the meeting after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the budget situation “a mess” and urged the president to present a fresh proposal.
“I told the president I would be happy to look at whatever he proposes, but the truth is we’re coming up against a hard deadline here, and as I said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago,” McConnell said of his phone call with Obama Wednesday night.
McConnell added, “Republicans aren’t about to write a blank check for anything Senate Democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff.”
“That having been said, we’ll see what the president has to propose,” the Republican Senate leader said.
But a senior White House official told ABC News, “There is no White House bill.”
That statement, however, may have wiggle room. Earlier on Thursday White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “I don’t have any meetings to announce,” but a short time later, Friday’s meeting was made public.
It’s unclear if the two sides are playing a game of political chicken or whether the administration is willing to allow the country to fall off the fiscal cliff.
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Dylan Byers, CNN
Ariane de Vogue and Laura Jarrett, CNN