Obama finally due to meet with Ryan

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/02/01/obama-finally-due-to-meet-with-ryan/

(CNSNews.com) – Three full months have passed since Rep. Paul Ryan was sworn in as House Speaker, and aside from a handshake at the State of the Union Address, President Obama has not met with the Republican leader.

That will change this week.

“Next Tuesday, I believe, the president will meet with both (Senate Majority) Leader (Mitch) McConnell and Speaker Ryan to discuss legislative priorities for the coming year, building on the bipartisan budget agreement that the president signed into law last year,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Friday.

“We certainly believe that there are areas of cooperation for the year ahead, and we are going to have a discussion — and the president will have a discussion with Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan about opportunities to work together to deliver for the American people.”

Asked what took so long for Obama to meet with Ryan, Earnest pointed to the State of the Union Address and “snow days.”

“Well, we’ve obviously been in discussion with him since the beginning of the year about — about setting up this meeting, and it’s obviously been a busy couple of weeks. Obviously, the State of the Union address, there — there have been some snow days, been at least a couple of weeks where Congress hasn’t been in session. But this is the opportunity that we’ve had to — to meet, and the president is — is looking forward to the conversation.

“Again, based on the — the success that — that we had last year in finding some common ground to advance a whole range of shared priorities, you know, there’s — there’s plenty to talk about this year, too. OK?”

Another reporter asked Earnest if Tuesday’s meeting is going to count as the “bourbon summit,” a reference to the so-called “beer summit” of President Obama’s first term. McConnell is from the bourbon-producing state of Kentucky.

“[M]y guess is that the meeting will take place either in the late morning or early afternoon. We’ll get you some more updates on that. So, I guess–”

(That’s a good time to start drinking, the reporter joked.)

“In some offices that may be true, but not in the Oval Office,” Earnest replied. “I’m saying it’s not the bourbon summit.”

— Written by Susan Jones