Obama invites McConnell, Grassley to White House

Obama invites McConnell, Grassley to White House
© Greg Nash

President Obama is ratcheting up the pressure on Senate Republicans to at least talk about his plan to nominate someone to the Supreme Court to replace the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia.

Obama has invited Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate Dem leader: 'Serious concerns' with Carson nomination Senate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules Transition official: Trump will not rip up NAFTA MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyDrug pricing debate going into hibernation GOP leaders host Trump's top deputies Key Republican wants details on Ohio State attacker MORE (R-Iowa) to meet with him and Democratic leaders Thursday at the White House.

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A spokesman for McConnell confirmed that the White House is trying to set up a meeting. But the GOP aide noted the Senate leader has already spoken to Obama over the telephone and knows what he wants.

“We are working with the White House to schedule a time for a meeting,” said Don Stewart, McConnell’s spokesman. “The leader welcomes the opportunity to reiterate to the president directly that the American people will be heard on this matter, and the nomination will be determined by whoever wins the presidency in the fall.”

The meeting request appears designed to foil McConnell’s effort to end as soon as possible the conversation about possible hearings and a vote.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDem senator had 'constructive' talk with Trump Communities struggling with decline of coal can’t wait any longer on RECLAIM Act Week ahead: AT&T-Time Warner merger under scrutiny MORE (Nev.) and Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyPassing US-Canada preclearance would improve security and economy GOP wants to move fast on Sessions Senate Dems pan talk of short-term spending bill MORE (Vt.), the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, have been invited as well.

Leahy said Wednesday he plans to attend.

“He’s asked me for suggestions and I’ll give it to him privately, as I’ve always have. As I’ve had to Republican presidents, too.”

—This report was updated at 4:29 p.m.