Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) said Tuesday he has advised the White House to hold a meeting between Republican and Democratic leadership at a third location like Camp David or Andrews Air Force Base.
“Would you tell the White House the same, that they’ve got to maybe make the first move to get the speaker and everybody else around the table?” Andrea Mitchell asked the Senator of an off-site meeting in a Tuesday interview.
“I have recommended to the White House at some point going to Camp David or some other location so you get away from the dueling press conferences,” Conrad said in his response, “because at some point that can create its own dynamic and reduce the chances of getting an agreement.”
The outgoing chairman of the Senate Budget Committee also noted that Republicans have put forward an entitlement plan to begin negotiations.
“I think the White House did a very wise thing in terms of laying out what they thought was important to an agreement on the revenue side of the equation,” Conrad said. “And to say to Republicans, ‘You want entitlement savings, tell us what they are.’ They’ve done that. So now you’ve got the two positions outlined. That puts us in a position to reach a final agreement.”
President Barack Obama did not appear to be taking the suggestion into account during an interview Tuesday.
“I do not think the issue right now has to do with sitting in a room,” Obama said in an interview with Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman.
The president said party leaders “will not be able to get a deal” unless Republicans submit to increased tax rates on high earners.