WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House criticized House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday for his decision not to let all House Republicans attend a White House meeting on Thursday.
President Barack Obama has been attempting to persuade moderate Republicans to break from Tea Party conservatives and force Boehner, the top Republican in Washington, to allow a vote on a short-term spending bill to end a U.S. government shutdown and take the threat of a debt default off the table.
The White House has invited all House Republicans to a meeting on Thursday but Boehner limited the group to 18 Republicans who hold leadership positions.
"President Obama is disappointed that Speaker Boehner is preventing his members from coming to the White House," White House spokesman Jay Carney.
"The president thought it was important to talk directly with the members who forced this economic crisis on the country about how the shutdown and a failure to pay the country's bills could devastate the economy," he said.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Eric Beech)