Republicans ask Obama to step in, lay out spending cuts 

House Republican leaders criticized President Obama after a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, saying Obama has failed to demonstrate how he would make spending cuts to accompany an increase to the country's debt limit, which the president is urging Congress to approve.

"Unfortunately what we did not hear from the president is a specific plan of his to deal with the debt crisis," Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, told reporters outside the White House. Twenty yards away, the full House Republican Conference was filing out of the 90-minute meeting and heading toward two buses that would take them back to Capitol Hill.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, described the meeting as "frank" and "productive."

"I told the president, one more time, this is the moment," he said. "This is the window of opportunity where we can deal with this on our terms. We can work together and solve this problem. We know what the problems are. Let's not kick the can down the road one more time."

Democratic leaders are heading to the White House on Thursday as the Aug. 2 deadline to raise the government's debt ceiling approaches. If the deadline is missed, the government could default on its debt.

Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.,  said Republican leaders  stressed the importance of creating jobs and relieving regulatory burdens on the private sector.

"I said to the president today, it's really important for us to focus on growth in this economy," he said, adding that Democrats must "keep taxes out of the talks." 

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said he also asked Obama to stop calling his proposal to cut Medicare spending a "voucher" plan. 

"It's been mis-described by the president," Ryan said crisply. "So we simply described to him precisely what it is we've been proposing so that he hears from us how our proposal works so that in the future he won't mischaracterize it," Ryan said.


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