Obama to Meet with ‘Small Group’ of House Republican Leaders Today
October 10, 2013 - 7:02 am
President Obama agreed to meet with House Republican leadership today, a day after he sat down with the Democratic caucus.
The late afternoon meeting will come after Obama sits down with Senate Democrats.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said he’ll be among the “small group” of GOPs meeting with Obama in the closed-press affair in the Roosevelt Room.
“For the past few weeks, my focus has been on how we can bridge this partisan divide and thoughtfully address our long-term fiscal challenges. It is time for all parties to work together to find some real solutions, including long overdue budget and tax reforms that will boost the economy, encourage job growth, and reduce spending,” Upton said. “I am hopeful that the president will reason with us and be willing to negotiate tomorrow as we work to meaningfully address our challenges and do what is right for all Americans.”
Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise, leader of the caucus of House conservatives, said he’ll also be there.
“For weeks, House Republicans have passed bipartisan bills to fund the government and put real solutions on the table to get our economy back on track,” Scalise said. “While we have real disagreements on solving our nation’s problems, I am glad President Obama has finally agreed to meet with us to start negotiating our differences so we can find real solutions.”
“President Obama is the only person in Washington who can cause our nation to default, which would be irresponsible and dangerous,” he added. “I hope the president takes this opportunity to abandon his divisive rhetoric and finally engage in a dialogue as we work to implement real reforms to finally control Washington’s spending problem and get our economy back on track.”
House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said last night that “after weeks of asking the president to come to the table, I’m hopeful that tomorrow’s negotiation will be a meaningful one that addresses the problems currently facing our nation.”
“House Republicans will once again urge the president to join our efforts to reopen the government and find a fiscally responsible path forward in addressing the debt limit,” Sessions said. “There’s a long history of presidents and congressional leaders who have negotiated with each other to benefit our great nation. I look forward to continuing this tradition with President Obama tomorrow.”
Obama’s meeting with House Dems lasted over an hour.
“The President thanked the House Democrats for their support of the clean, short-term continuing resolution that would re-open the government and end the unnecessary pain this shutdown is causing families across the country,” the White House said in a readout from the meeting. “The President and Congressional Democrats will continue to urge the Republican Leadership to allow the bill passed by the Senate to have an up or down vote — a bill that, if brought to the floor, would pass with a bipartisan majority and end this damaging government shutdown.”
“The President and the House Democrats reaffirmed their shared belief that we cannot let one faction of the Republicans in the House demand a ransom for Congress doing its job and paying the bills we have already incurred. The President discussed his desire, once the threat of default is removed and the government is reopened, to engage with both sides on a discussion of how we achieve a broader budget agreement that puts job creation, economic growth, and a strong middle class front and center.”