House Republican leaders are asking President Obama to convene a bipartisan meeting at the White House ahead of his Thursday address on job creation.
In a letter to Mr. Obama Tuesday, House Speaker John A. Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor said such a meeting would allow both parties to move beyond the rhetoric of bipartisanship and actually work together on measures that would spur job growth.
“Obviously achieving bipartisan agreement on these and other initiatives requires more than just one side declaring a proposal to be ‘bipartisan,’” the Republicans wrote. “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.”
With national unemployment still stuck above 9 percent and polls showing voters increasingly anxious about the economy, job creation has dominated the conversation in Washington and elsewhere throughout the summer.
Mr. Obama is set to address both chambers of Congress Thursday night to discuss the topic, while Republican presidential contenders like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are releasing job plans of their own.
Although both parties say they want to work together, there have been few signs that either Republicans or Democrats are ready to cave. For example, many on the left have called for additional stimulus spending [-] something the GOP has said is a non-starter.
“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,” Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cantor wrote in their letter.
“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.”
The two men cited several potential areas of compromise, such as trade and regulatory reform.