Boehner, Cantor want Obama to meet leaders before jobs speech

House GOP leaders on Tuesday asked President Obama to meet with congressional leaders from both parties to discuss his jobs plan ahead of his Thursday night address to Congress.

In a letter to Obama, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) cited the need for a bipartisan deal on jobs in requesting the meeting. Their letter also outlined potential areas of cooperation.

“We would suggest that prior to your address to Congress you convene a bipartisan, bicameral meeting of the congressional leadership so that we may have the opportunity to constructively discuss your proposals,” the letter said.

Obama has been criticized by Republicans for requesting an address to a joint session of Congress for his jobs speech, which many in the GOP believe will be a political address focused on the president’s reelection.

Boehner initially turned down Obama’s request to speak to a joint session on Wednesday, when it would have happened at the same time as a GOP presidential debate. The Speaker cited security concerns, and Obama agreed to move the address to Thursday.

Boehner and Cantor insist that moving forward, both parties will have to compromise on policy to spur job growth.

It is “critical that our differences not preclude us from taking action in areas where there is common agreement. We should not approach this as an all or nothing situation,” the two leaders wrote in their letter.

As such, they cited a number of areas of potential agreement between Obama and Republicans.

Easing federal regulations, passing three long-stalled trade agreements and dropping federal mandates on state-controlled transportation money are among the possible areas of agreement, the pair wrote.

They requested that the president provide an accounting of the cost of more than 200 proposed regulations that could harm small businesses before his address.

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