President Obama has invited congressional leaders to the White House early next week for a meeting on legislative priorities in the new Republican-led Congress.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the invitation is “a clear piece of evidence from this president that he wants to try to find common ground with Republicans. We’re going to have to try to compromise … to move this country forward.”
On Monday, after the president returned from a two-week holiday vacation in Hawaii, the White House said Mr. Obama had no firm plans to meet with congressional leaders. The president is going on the road the rest of this week to promote his agenda in advance of his State of the Union address to Congress on Jan. 20.
Mr. Earnest said the president will discuss with the top four lawmakers from both parties in the House and Senate “policies that will benefit the middle class.” He also said Mr. Obama is likely to have “more frequent conversations” with new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.
Mr. Obama is not concerned with the frequency of his discussions with GOP leaders, “but more the willingness … to find common ground. That’s the spirit that the president will bring to that meeting,” Mr. Earnest said.
The president also will give top lawmakers an update on various foreign-policy issues.