GOP demands Obama kill House and Senate bills and take reconciliation off the table, or they won’t meet to talk about a health care compromise

From Roll Call (behind a pay firewall):

In a tersely worded letter to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on Monday, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wrote that Republicans “would rightly be reluctant” to participate in the Feb. 25 bipartisan health care meeting if the White House refused to consider scrapping the current health care reform bills.

In their letter, Boehner and Cantor called on Obama to take reconciliation off the table as a “show good faith” to the GOP.

“Eliminating the possibility of reconciliation would represent an important show of good faith to Republicans and the American people,” the letter said.

UPDATE: The White House has responded. It sounds decently strong at first blush. But on a re-read, it’s not totally clear what it means. It doesn’t say that the President will stand by the House and Senate bills, just that he’s supported them in the past. Yes, he has. What about now? It says the President wants real reform. That can be defined as anything. Also, it might have been smart for the White House to include something pointing out the fact that the GOP is now putting down pre-conditions to a meeting about which the White House put no pre-conditions.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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