Obama, Republican leaders to seek elusive common ground in W. House meeting

By REUTERS
February 2, 2016 18:18
1 minute read.

 
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US President Barack Obama will meet with a frequent critic, House Speaker Paul Ryan, on Tuesday, as the political leaders look for areas where they may be able to overcome partisan divisions.

In a rare public detente, the Democratic president will hold his first formal face-to-face meeting with Ryan since the Wisconsin congressman took over the top post in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives in October after John Boehner of Ohio stepped down.

The get-together is scheduled to take place in the Oval Office at 11:15 a.m. ET (1615 GMT) and will also include the Republican-controlled Senate's majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

While the White House has pointed to several areas where it believes the White House and Congress may be able to find common ground during Obama's last year in office, the search for compromise will likely prove elusive.

Known as the architect of conservative budget plans that sought to slash social safety net programs and cut tax rates for the wealthy, Ryan has been critical of Obama's executive actions on immigration reform, gun control and the administration's decision to halt coal leasing on public lands.

Ryan was part of the losing bid to unseat Obama in the 2012 election, when he was Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate.

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