White House says it welcomes 'credible input' from House GOP

The White House said Thursday that it welcomed "credible input" from lawmakers after House Republican leaders sent the president a letter challenging Obama to press forward on "common ground" between the president's goals and their own.

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"The president welcomes the credible input from anyone who wants to work with him to expand opportunity and to keep our economy growing," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "We welcome that. The president will work with Congress on a whole host of areas, where Congress demonstrates its willingness to try to find bipartisan compromises and cooperate."

The letter outlined four bills that had passed the House that Republican leaders say would accomplish goals the president advocated for in the State of the Union.

“Naturally, we don’t agree with all of the proposals you outlined in your speech, but where there is the potential for agreement we believe it is critical that we come together to advance the interests of the American people,” the letter, signed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), said.

But the letter also criticized the president's pledge to use executive actions to move forward on his agenda.

“On Tuesday night you said, ‘let’s make this a year of action.’ We agree. Of course, under our Constitution, most action requires the Congress and the President to work together,” the Republican lawmakers said.

But Carney said Obama would "continue to pursue his agenda through the use of his executive authority and through the use of his pen and phone."

At an event outside of Milwaukee on Thursday, Obama will direct Vice President Biden to examine how best to reform federal job training programs designed to help American workers learn the skills they need for in-demand jobs.

But Republicans have criticized the president’s push as little more than window dressing in an election year. A GOP leadership aide on Wednesday noted the Government Accountability Office had already completed a comprehensive review of the job training programs spread across government agencies.

Carney said that appointing Biden was a demonstration of the "White House’s commitment to an issue."

"When the Vice President is put in charge of an effort like this, it gets done, and it will be effective, and that’s what the president expects," Carney said.