Obama clashes with GOP, but promises to meet in the middle

Obama clashes with GOP, but promises to meet in the middle

Senate Republicans clashed with President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaButtigieg tweeted support for 'Medicare for All' in 2018 Brent Budowsky: To Bush and Obama — speak out on Trump Graham on Syria: Trump appears 'hell-bent' on repeating Obama's mistakes in Iraq MORE during his visit with their caucus Tuesday on energy legislation, immigration reform and other issues.



“It was good,” Obama told reporters as he left the meeting. “We had a good, frank discussion on a whole range of issues.”



Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said his colleagues challenged the president over what they see as the partisan way he has pushed healthcare reform and Wall Street reform legislation. Brownback described the meeting as “testy.”



Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPatient advocates launch drug pricing ad campaign Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs War of words at the White House MORE (Ky.) described it as a “spirited discussion.”



Obama told Republicans that we would be willing to meet them halfway or 75 percent of the way on some of the big issues remaining on his agenda.



When they pressed him to support specific GOP-favored proposals, he repeatedly said he is constrained because of pressure from his party’s liberal base.



Obama called on Republicans to help pass a $58.8 billion supplemental and a package of extended tax relief and unemployment aid by the end of the week.



Obama also asked Republicans to support his Supreme Court pick, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, and join him to advance immigration reform and energy and climate change legislation.



Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Meghan McCain: It's 'breaking my heart' Warren is leading Biden in the polls The Hill's 12:30 Report: Video depicting Trump killing media, critics draws backlash MORE (R-Ariz.) told Obama that he must first secure the border with Mexico before Republicans will support a comprehensive reform package, according to GOP lawmakers in the meeting.



McCain told Obama that members of his administration were not helping the discussion on immigration reform by mischaracterizing a newly-passed Arizona law that empowers law enforcement to spot-check the identity documents of suspected illegal immigrants.



The president did not propose sending a specific number of border patrol officers and National Guard troops to the border, as some insiders had expected.



Obama called on Republicans to support energy and climate legislation sponsored by Sens. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryDemocrats have reason to worry after the last presidential debate Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate John Kerry calls out lack of climate questions at debate MORE (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), but Republicans pressed him to move a bipartisan energy-only bill sponsored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), according to a GOP lawmaker in the room.



Despite the disagreements, the Republican senators applauded Obama at the end of the meeting.

Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) said his colleagues were “appreciative” of the president's visit but added the two sides spoke “candidly” to each other.