- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 20, 2015

There’s nothing like a big-money fundraiser for House Democrats to bring President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi closer together.

Mr. Obama and Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, made a show of mending fences at a fundraiser at the home of billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Friday night’s meeting was their first since Mrs. Pelosi turned against the president last week by leading the opposition that temporarily derailed crucial trade legislation that Mr. Obama is seeking.

Despite those tensions, Mr. Obama told more than 50 wealthy Democratic donors, who paid up to $33,400 each to help Democrats win elections next year, that Mrs. Pelosi has been instrumental to his achievements in office.

“None of those things would have been accomplished had it not been for an extraordinary partner in Congress, and Nancy Pelosi has been that partner, and I could not be prouder to work with her,” Mr. Obama said.

But the president couldn’t resist tossing in a barb.

“It’s not like I agree with my Democratic caucus on everything,” he said, “but on 98 percent of things, they’re moving in the right direction.” He grinned at Mrs. Pelosi, who blushed.

Mrs. Pelosi praised the president for the economic recovery, Obamacare and seizing “executive opportunities,” such as raising emission standards and granting deportation amnesty to illegal immigrants.

“These are remarkable changes the president has done by executive action,” she said.

The House voted a second time on trade last week, using a different legislative tactic to approve trade promotion authority for Mr. Obama, although the overall package, including aid for displaced workers, is still in doubt. Mrs. Pelosi again voted in opposition.

In his weekly address Saturday, Mr. Obama called on Congress to finish the job on trade.

“I believe it’s the right thing to do for American workers and families, or I wouldn’t be doing it,” Mr. Obama said. “Several members of Congress disagree. That’s why it’s still tied up there, along with a lot of other good ideas that would create jobs. And eventually, I’m optimistic we’ll get this done.”

Mr. Steyer, an influential foe of the Keystone XL pipeline project, praised the president for reaching an agreement in principle with China to curb greenhouse gas emissions and for other efforts to combat climate change.

“He has done it his own way, under the most difficult political circumstances I’ve ever witnessed,” Mr. Steyer said, adding that this could be the most difficult time politically since the Civil War.

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