Obama plans meeting with Republicans

Thursday, November 4, 2010

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama said Thursday he will hold a meeting with top Republicans later this month to explore ways to work together after Democrats were pummelled in mid-term congressional elections.

Obama said the meeting is to explore ways to change the nature of Washington politics and said he told his cabinet to “make a sincere and consistent effort” to achieve that goal. Obama’s remarks came after a cabinet meeting.

“What’s going to be critically important over the coming months is creating a better working relationship between this White House and the congressional leadership that’s coming in,” he said.

Republicans, capitalising on voter frustration with the slow economic recovery, seized control of the House of Representatives Tuesday and sharply reduced the Democratic majority in the Senate. The new Congress will take power in January.

Obama has already spoken with the Republican leadership. The incoming House speaker, John Boehner, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, will be attending the meeting, as will the current Democratic leadership, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Obama said.

“This is going to be a meeting in which I want us to talk substantively about how we can move the American people’s agenda forward,” Obama said. “It’s not just going to be a photo-op.”

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