Boehner urges active Obama role in US deficit talks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner Friday urged President Barack Obama to take an active role in deficit reduction talks if he wants to reach an agreement this month.

“I think there’s a lot of progress that’s been made in the Biden talks,” Boehner said of negotiations being overseen at the White House by Vice President Joe Biden.

“He (Obama) could take a more active role. He’s had this hands off approach for the last several months while this conversation has raged on,” Boehner added. “If he wants this agreement done by the end of the month, better get going.”

Boehner was speaking at a House press conference attended by other Republican lawmakers including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who said the Biden talks had produced movement toward “coalescing around trillions of dollars in cuts.”

But Cantor said the White House needed more “will” to agree on Republican positions including a contention that tax increases be excluded from deficit-reduction options. (Reporting by Donna Smith and Debbie Charles; Editing by Vicki Allen)