President Obama held a meeting with House Republicans Wednesday (March 13), in hopes of coming to an agreement on several issues, including the budget. Although closed to the press, details behind the exchange reveal that things weren’t copacetic—but maybe the president didn’t notice.
“It was good,” the commander in chief said after the fact. “I enjoyed it. It was useful.”
Obama spoke for nearly 30 minutes before taking questions from members of Congress.
POLITICO reports that the commander in chief was “quizzed” on several topics, like the end of White House tours, which is a result of budget cuts. “Almost every question had some grounding in the question of trust,” said Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo), who pinpointed the deficit as the main item of discussion.
The meeting marked the first time that House Republicans were given the opportunity to directly address the president in almost two years, and the angst may have been the reason for tension. “If the president wants to let our unwillingness to raise taxes get in the way, then we’re not going to be able to set differences aside, and focus on what we agree on,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters.
As of now both sides have left things hanging in the balance, but there is a sign of hope, according to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA.), who may have thrown a bit of sarcasm in his response. “He [the president] doesn’t want to balance the budget in 10 years, and he wants tax increases, and he wants new spending. But other than that we’re close.”
Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP