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Golf Outing May be Prelude to Debt Talks.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
When President Barack Obama hits the golf course this Saturday with House Speaker John Boehner, the business portion of the outing will include talk about the debt and deficit, raising the question of how soon the two leaders will take the lead on negotiations between the two parties over those matters.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that as the debt talks hosted by Vice President Joe Biden progress Mr. Obama will “engage more directly.” The Biden talks, which include White House officials and six members of Congress, has held regular meetings since May 5 to reach a deal on deficit reduction aimed at building support in Congress for a vote to raise the debt ceiling. All sides acknowledge that eventually Messrs. Obama and Boehner will take the reins.

While a round of golf this weekend is “a social occasion,” Mr. Carney said, discussion of the national debt is likely to creep into the conversation.

“That is obviously a topic of conversation that’s likely to arise,” Mr. Carney told reporters Wednesday. “It’s hard to imagine it won’t.”

Mr. Obama tapped Mr. Biden as his golf partner. Mr. Boehner selected Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the Republican who beat the White House’s candidate, incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland, in November 2010.

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