McConnell quickly fired back.
"The president may not want to have a fight about government spending over the next few months, but it's the fight he is going to have, because it's a debate the country needs," McConnell wrote in a Yahoo op-ed published Wednesday night, adding that Obama "must show up" and deliver a serious plan for slashing federal spending.
"That's the debate the American people really want. It's a debate Republicans are ready to have. And it's the debate that starts today, whether the president wants it or not," McConnell wrote.
Although he has sworn off direct negotiations with Obama, Boehner echoed McConnell's remarks on Friday.
"With the cliff behind us, the focus turns to spending," Boehner told House Republicans.