Boehner, Cantor ask Obama for meeting

Sept. 6, 2011 at 4:29 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The top two House Republicans asked President Obama for a bicameral, bipartisan meeting to discuss his jobs plan ahead of his scheduled Thursday address.

In their letter to Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the meeting was needed to help reach a bipartisan deal on jobs and outlined potential areas of cooperation, The Hill reported Tuesday.

"We would suggest that prior to your address to Congress you convene a bipartisan, bicameral meeting of the congressional leadership so that we may have the opportunity to constructively discuss your proposals," the letter said.

During his news briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration welcomes "signs that that level of interest in bipartisan cooperation has increased."

"We certainly think ... that we expect the members of Congress -- House and Senate -- heard in their districts and states the same kinds of things from their constituents that the president heard when he visited the Midwest on his bus tour and previous trip as well, that there is a level of frustration with Washington that is palpable," Carney said. "Americans of all stripes, whether they are registered Republicans or independents or Democrats ... are tired of gridlock and political posturing getting in the way of Washington doing the things that can and should be done to help them and help the economy."

They also asked Obama to provide ahead his national address an accounting of the cost of more than 200 regulations the administration signaled it would enact that Republican leaders said could harm small businesses.

Boehner and Cantor said both parties will have to give ground to spur job growth.

It is "critical that our differences not preclude us from taking action in areas where there is common agreement. We should not approach this as an all or nothing situation," the pair said in the letter.

Among areas of potential agreement, the two top House GOP leaders cited easing federal regulations, passing three stalled free trade agreements and eliminating federal mandates on state-controlled transportation money.

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