Obama to GOP: 'Stop trying to frighten the American people'

President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaShould President Trump, like President Obama, forsake human rights in pursuit of the deal with a tyrant? Obama shares summer reading list ‘Three Californias’ plan would give Dems more seats MORE told House Republican leaders to "stop trying to frighten the American people" even as he and Democrats said they see a possibility for bipartisan cooperation on job creation legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDonald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary McConnell cements his standing in GOP history MORE (D-Nev.) told reporters that Obama made the admonition during a bipartisan meeting at the White House on Wednesday, producing a chart to show Republicans that "things are a lot better."

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Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said there was broad agreement on their side of the aisle about how to create jobs by aiding small businesses and boosting infrastructure spending. Pelosi said she thinks on those issues, "it's possible for us to find some common, bipartisan ground."

But moments later, Republicans made it clear that they want to see a "spending freeze" and a "no-cost" jobs plan that consists largely of tax cuts.

"We can't keep spending money we don't have," House Minority Whip Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election Scalise allies upset over Ryan blindside on McCarthy endorsement MORE (R-Va.) said.

House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase Facebook execs to meet with GOP leaders over concerns about anti-conservative bias Boehner: Federal government should not interfere in recreational marijuana decisions MORE (R-Ohio) pushed back on Obama's request for an end to Republicans' scare tactics by saying that Obama's policies have led to a hiring freeze, and the GOP is simply telling constituents what is happening.

"[E]mployers are sitting there and they're frozen because they don't know what's really going to happen here," BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase Facebook execs to meet with GOP leaders over concerns about anti-conservative bias Boehner: Federal government should not interfere in recreational marijuana decisions MORE said. "And the president wants to blame us for informing the American people about what's happening here and how it will affect them, but it's not what we're doing; it's the policies that they're promoting here in Washington."


The Republicans presented a letter to Obama detailing how they think he should approach job creation, including by way of tax cuts and trade expansion.

For his part, Obama also expressed hope that Republicans would support him on his proposals, particularly on items like a one-year elimination of the capital gains tax that the GOP has supported in the past.

"It's appropriate that I met with leaders of both parties," Obama said after the meeting. "Spurring hiring and economic growth are not Democratic or Republican issues. They are American issues that affect every single one of our constituents."

The president noted Republican opposition to his $787 billion stimulus package, but he said he hopes that he will get some GOP support for his attempts at job creation.

"It's no secret that there's been less than full bipartisan support for the recovery act and some of the steps that have broken the free-fall of our economy," Obama said. "But my hope is that as we move forward we can do so together, recognizing that we have a shared responsibility to meet our economic challenges on behalf of all Americans: those who elected us to make sure that we're doing the people's business."

Despite the GOP opposition, Democratic leaders seemed optimistic they can move quickly on a jobs bill that contains much of what the president outlined in a speech Tuesday.

Reid declined to say when a jobs bill might come up in the Senate, but he said after Tuesday night's "breakthrough" on healthcare reform that he does think the Senate will pass a healthcare bill before lawmakers leave for Christmas.