STANDOFFS

GOP May Boycott Health-Care Summit

If Obama doesn’t scrap the existing health-care reform bills, leading House Republicans have said they won't participate in the president's upcoming, televised health-care summit. In a letter to Rahm Emanuel, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner and Minority Whip Eric Cantor expressed frustration at reports that Obama intends to put the Democratic bills on the table for discussion at the Feb. 25 summit. "If the starting point for this meeting is the job-killing bills the American people have already soundly rejected, Republicans would rightly be reluctant to participate," Boehner and Cantor wrote. "'Bipartisanship' is not writing proposals of your own behind closed doors, then unveiling them and demanding Republican support." White House press secretary Robert Gibbs responded by saying that Obama has sought Republican input since early last year, and the president remains interested in hearing ideas that the GOP believe will advance the cause of health-care reform. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Obama is "absolutely not" scrapping the bills.