By Meghashyam Mali - 02/25/13 02:25 AM EST
President Obama on Sunday hosted the nation’s governors at a White House dinner, praising their accomplishments and urging them to continue working with him.
“We know we’ve got more work to do -- more jobs to create and more children to educate, and more roads to repair,” said Obama in his remarks in the State Dining Room.
The governors are in Washington this week for the annual conference of the National Governors Association and will meet with Obama again at the White House on Monday.
Obama’s remarks come as Washington finds itself deadlocked over efforts to avert the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts slated to go into effect on Friday. The president did not mention the sequestration standoff in his remarks to the nation’s governors, but earlier Sunday the White House released reports detailing the effect of the cuts on each of the 50 states and District of Columbia.
Obama has made a public push to pressure GOP lawmakers to accept a deal including both spending cuts and tax increases to avert the budget ax. But Republicans say they will only accept spending cuts, and no tax hikes, to offset the sequester.
The administration has argued that sequester will cost teachers their jobs, result in the loss of education and healthcare programs, slow the nation’s transportation system and undercut military preparedness.
The president in his brief remarks also joked about visiting many of the governors’ states during the 2012 campaign.
“Last year, I got to see firsthand some of the great work that our governors are helping to accomplish all across the country. Now, it’s true that I had the chance to see some accomplishments in some states more than others,” he said, before naming a number of swing states to laughter. “Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Virginia.”
“But I hope to see more of you this year, the rest of you,” said Obama.