President Obama’s effort on his invites for lunch and dinner to congressional Republicans for three weeks regarding the next budget battle, party leaders are conveying watchful buoyancy about the president being sincere and far from being just leading a so-called charm offensive.
The invitations emerge to be an adjust in political tactics for Obama, who from the time being elected in 2008 has largely shun pursuing Congress, preferring as of late to as a substitute make his case to the public with campaign-style events.
He moreover plans to maintain the exertion this week with three planned trips to Capitol Hill to visit Democrats and Republicans in both chambers. This will in turn a likely effort to broker a “grand bargain” on tax and spending as a replacement for another short-term fix.
“I hope that this is sincere,” Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, who had lunch Thursday with Obama at the White House.” “We had a very good, frank exchange. But the proof will be in the coming weeks as to whether or not it’s a real, sincere outreach to find common ground.”
Obama’s evident courtship follows $85 billion in payments for cuts this year that kicked in March 1 and earlier than the next deadline, March 27, when the existing short-term budget extension expires and a government shutdown becomes visible.
Ryan, R-Wis., also said his proposal for 2014 would balance the federal budget in 10 years, but is based in part on repeal of the president’s Affordable Care Act, which appears unlikely.
They also articulated concern that the president’s second-term efforts might be too late though Republicans materializes as optimistic.
“I think he is sincere,” said Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, who attended the hotel dinner with 11 other Republican senators Wednesday night.
“But you know, you’ve got a lot of scabs and sores on people,” Coburn told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And it’s going to take a while for that to heal.”
Considering Congress is scheduled to depart town March 22 the president will have to work fast to accomplish even a shorter-term deal.
They already have a spending measure ready for passage that would pay for day-to-day federal operations through September said the Senate Democrats. The measure would impose automatic cuts of 5 percent to domestic agencies and 7.8 percent to the Pentagon.
Leaders of the Democrat-controlled Senate also are working on full budget for passage, the first in four years. And he expressed optimism about an eventual Hill deal, said Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine Sunday.
“The two (chambers’) budgets will be different,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We’re going to have to find a balanced solution, and it will involve all elements. It will involve talking about revenues, talking about expenses, talking about entitlements. We have to do that.”
Still, some Republicans seem unconvinced about the president’s recent efforts.
“I hope that he’s genuine,” Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., told NBC. “But I don’t think we’re going to be doing the Harlem Shake any time soon together.”
Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy question whether Obama’s efforts were about winning over the Republican-controlled House or “governing for all of America.”
“Only time will tell,” the California congressman told CNN’s “State of the Union.”