Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) has been summoned to the White House by President Barack Obama to discuss the federal debt limit during a meeting that was scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, sources confirmed.
The session isn’t supposed to focus on health care reform, but should the issue arise, it is highly unlikely that Obama will find Voinovich any more receptive to the Democrats’ reform legislation than he was late last year, when he voted against it four times. Meanwhile, the federal debt limit and deficit issues are of particular concern to Voinovich, a moderate who is retiring at the end of the 111th Congress.
“Sen. Voinovich’s statement after his last vote against the partisan health care reform bill speaks for itself and his stance has not changed,— Voinovich spokesman Garrette Silverman said.
With the possibility that a Republican could win Tuesday’s Senate special election in Massachusetts and kill the Democrats’ 60-vote supermajority, the president may be rethinking how to re-engage Republicans on his agenda.
Voinovich has shown a willingness to side with Democrats on some issues in the past.
The Senate is set this week to debate Obama’s request to raise the federal debt limit. Voinovich has been particularly concerned with the level of federal spending under the Obama administration.