House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) wrote President Barack Obama a letter Tuesday, Congress’ last day of recess, requesting that he meet with Republican leadership prior to his planned jobs speech to Congress Thursday.
The letter focuses on Republican-led job efforts and what Boehner and Cantor frame as the Democratic failures to contribute to job creation. For example, attached to the 1,500-word letter is a list of initiatives passed by the Republican-controlled House that have not been considered by the Democratic-majority Senate.
Obama recently accused Republicans of being the roadblocks, saying that the delay was due to “the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party…that’s what we have to change.”
In their letter, the Republicans stressed that compromise would be needed for economic growth.
“While we each sincerely believe that our own policy prescriptions for economic recovery are what is best for the country, neither of us is likely to convince the other in a manner that results in the full implementation of those policies,” the letter read in part. “While it is important that we continue to debate and discuss our different approaches to job creation, it is also 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.”
Boehner and Cantor then offer several examples of Republican ideas that the White House could choose to implement.
“Obviously achieving bipartisan agreement on these and other initiatives requires more than just one side declaring a proposal to be ‘bipartisan,'” the letter reads. “It requires that we work together. As such, 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.”
Previously, Obama had planned his address to Congress for Wednesday, the same time as the Republican presidential debate. In a letter, Boehner chose not to accept his invitation and suggested Thursday instead. The next day, Obama announced that he would address Congress Thursday.