Mr. Obama will finally meet formally and face-to-face with House Speaker Paul Ryan for the first time since he became Speaker. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will join Ryan at Tuesday’s White House meeting.
Josh Earnest described the meeting as a discussion of “legislative priorities” for the coming year and to look for ways to build off of last year’s budget agreement.
“The ‘president’ is looking forward to the conversation. Based on the success we had last year in finding some common ground to advance a whole range of shared priorities, there’s plenty to talk about this year, too.”
There is little doubt that Mr. Obama will crow about the Omnibus bill and compliment them for passing it which will sit very badly with the base and probably raise Trump’s poll numbers.
Paul Ryan’s spokesman, Doug Andres said, “While the House is focused on a bold agenda for 2017, the speaker appreciates the opportunity to see if we can find any areas of common ground in the year ahead.”
Alarmingly, the White House said that “Ryan has signaled a willingness to vote on a trade deal and a criminal justice bill this year. But McConnell has sounded noncommittal about both proposals.”
Both of those subjects will go nowhere. The trade bill is a reject as far as Democrats are concerned and with an election coming up, votes will be hard to come by. The criminal justice reform will likely be no more meaningful than Mayor de Blasio’s okaying public urination on the streets of New York.
If the GOP does somehow find common ground, they had better be prepared for some serious backlash.
Barack Obama does nothing without some political gain and he rarely meets with Republicans. He acts as if the GOP and all their constituents don’t exist. Hopefully the GOP won’t sell out the base yet again.