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Posted at 12:31 PM ET, 11/18/2010

Hoyer 'disappointed' in Republican leaders for postponing White House meeting

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: 1:20 p.m.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) criticized Republican leaders today for delaying a bipartisan meeting proposed by the White House to discuss economic concerns including the Bush-era tax cuts, saying that he was "disappointed" by their actions.

"I can never remember an instance that President Bush asked me or the Democratic leadership to come down to meet with him and then we did not accommodate our schedule to that request," Hoyer said in a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters. "I think that is not only respectful of the president of the United States, but it also furthers the ability to solve the problems of our country."

The bipartisan meeting had been slated to take place today; it will now take place Nov. 30. The White House said in a statement Tuesday night that the meeting had been delayed "at the request of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner due to scheduling conflicts in organizing their caucuses." McConnell spokesperson Don Stewart said that the meeting date had never been confirmed.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a press briefing on Wednesday that the White House was in agreement with Republicans that the original date would not have been convenient.

"We agreed that it was inconvenient to have the meeting when we originally set it. We moved it to a different date," Gibbs said.

In blaming Republicans for pulling out of the meeting, Hoyer recalled that two days after Election Day in 2006, Bush invited him and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to have lunch at the White House, where the group "had a very positive discussion about moving forward."

Hoyer pointed to Democrats' support in 2008 for the Troubled Asset Relief Program -- which Hoyer called "one of the most controversial pieces of legislation I've ever heard of" -- as an example of Democrats' ability to compromise.

"We responded to the president's request and voted for what was a very unpopular bill, but which we thought the president was correct" in calling for as a means of remedying the financial crisis, Hoyer said.

Hoyer also took aim at McConnell by name for stating that Republicans' top priority should be to deny Obama a second term in office.

"We are not in a two-year cycle, which Mitch McConnell refers to, of just having an intent to defeat the other side," Hoyer said. "What America wants us to do, however they voted, they do want us to try to reach common ground and to solve the problems that confront them, their families and our country."

By Felicia Sonmez  | November 18, 2010; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

Democrats have ignored the will of the people since 2006 when they grabbed control of Congress. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. Every piece of legislation enacted by BO and his buddies flew in the face of common sense, and clearly was enacted with a Chicago thug like mentality.
It is best that any republican does not compromise with BO- they have plenty of great ideas - ol BO likes none of them.
Let's hope when BO disappears in 2012, the ship can be righted. In the meantime, just hope that the democrats can do minimal damage to this country. With a republican house, that should be feasible.

Posted by: rknapp0205 | November 21, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Democrats have ignored the will of the people since 2006 when they grabbed control of Congress. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. Every piece of legislation enacted by BO and his buddies flew in the face of common sense, and clearly was enacted with a Chicago thug like mentality.
It is best that any republican does not compromise with BO- they have plenty of great ideas - ol BO likes none of them.
Let's hope when BO disappears in 2012, the ship can be righted. In the meantime, just hope that the democrats can do minimal damage to this country. With a republican house, that should be feasible.

Posted by: rknapp0205 | November 21, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

So, you really want to compare Obama to Bush? It's obvious the Republicans just don't trust this president to do the right thing. Not only is he still in denial, he's also looking for a way to play politics with the issues so the Republicans are right to be cautious. There are important decisions to be made and the Democrats should be making them and not worrying about meetings in the White House.

Posted by: bflat879 | November 19, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Before you cultliberals starta blaming McConnel and Boehner, go back a few months and a couple of years. Find out how long it took the "Big O" to invite any Republican leader to the White House for consultation. The comment that Pelosi and Reid responded to President Bush' invitation rapidly, at least they received an invitation soon after the election. It took
"what's his name" months before inviting McConnel and the house leader, and then only after he saw the hand writing on the wall as a result of the mid-term elections. Don't cry! Welcome to the facts!

Posted by: jjeleven | November 19, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Boehner, McConnell, and Cantor not only disrespect the President, they disrespect Democrats at large. The power they feel is going to evaporate quicker than they got it. Their actions are going to affect so many people that eventually the people will realize that the GOP works in the interest of the wealthy class and that they are not members of that exclusive club.

Posted by: fasm7700 | November 19, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if they meet or not! The last meeting that Obama requested was a sham, and they don't have to meet with Obama to make the right decision. They should forget about politics and do what is right for the economy. In that case the decision is clear. You don't increase taxes in a depression. Let's get that behind us, and then we can meet on other things.

Posted by: Prof-Dr-G | November 19, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Typical Republicans. I am not surprised they are BS ing around as usual. If Republicans went to the meeting on time that would mean they want to actually work and go forward. That would mean actually doing the right thing. I guess once again they did not listen to the voters very carefully.

Posted by: andretech | November 19, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Typical Republicans. I am not surprised they are BS ing around as usual. If Republicans went to the meeting on time that would mean they want to actually work and go forward. That would mean actually doing the right thing. I guess once again they did not listen to the voters very carefully.

Posted by: andretech | November 19, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS said it was never confirmed.

A. Not an excuse for not meeting the President.

B. Not a credible source after the fact; standing up the President looks bad, even they know that.

WHITE HOUSE said it was inconvenient

A. Not a credible source after the fact; otherwise they have the embarrassment of being turned down by a couple of people Representatives

I am framing this through my lenses; however, I would like to point out that I did read the article (e.g., love the poster who talks about how Pelosi would have done the same thing to a Republican president despite the fact that she did not... as is extensively outlined in the article). Also, Republicans complained about how they did not get what they want, but I seem to recall them being invited to (and going) to talk to the President all the time throughout the health care debate. In fact, it was only after they decided that it was going to be their major election issue and that compromise meant adopting their plan, that there was a pull back from the Democrats. (In short, at least I remember the actual legislative history of the past two years.)

Posted by: orgbluspider | November 19, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if Hoyer is disappointed? Stop reporting as if his disappointment matters. The Dems lost the election. Why did they lose? Obamas' policies. He needs to wake up. Obama isn't the boss. He's the President and yes, he is the CinC, but that only gives him the power to give lawful orders to the military. It does not invest him with the authority to order Members of Congress do anything. Obama is an executive and not a king. It's time he started understanding the difference between the two forms of leadership. One requires persuasion through the use of good ideas, the other is free to use an iron fist. However, there's no chain mail in the Oval Office for a reason.

Posted by: WriterDude | November 19, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Good manners and normal respect between the branches of our Government seems unknown to Senator McConnell.
Further, the President is (as our Framers said) "the Chief Magistrate of the Republic". For Congresspersons to simply
"diss" the White House is sick, ill-bred and atrociously ill-mannered. They prove themselves ill-fitted for any type of leadership.
There is a smell of damaged egos admixed with the noxious antebellum fumes of arrogance that the White-House-invitation-deniers construe the President as "uppity"....one can imagine additional nouns that go with that adjective in their minds. They will not reverse Appomattox. Cut it out fellows and join the planet as it is in 2010. You have offered NOTHING to the electorate which will take Uncle Sam stand taller. You have a chance to rise above your own petulance. Why not use it well?

Posted by: doppler1 | November 19, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Where was Hoyer when the president and Dems refused to listen to anything the Repubs said for the past 2 years? Why were they closed out of policy meetings? Hoyer, although I like some of the things he likes, is a politician, first. Hoyer and crew have royally messed up this country; give the Repubs a chance to get their party in order. Obama is ready because he knows exactly what he will do--not listen, then come out and demonize the Repubs.

Posted by: coffic | November 19, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Why would Hoyer be disappointed? The party of "NO" has many ways of saying NO. When will the White House and the DEMs get the message and move on without the NO'sers?

Posted by: AnRod | November 19, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Mitch McConnell made a candid admission that Congressional Republicans' primary goal is to win the 2012 presidential elections.

That means they will undermine or derail any initiative that the Democrats might claim as accomplishments. Kyl's actions to do just that to the new START treaty demonstrates that Republicans will act to deny the Democrat Administration any success, even if that means compromising the security of the United States.

McConnell and Kyl are Exhibits A and B for the case that the Republicans in Congress are too interested in their own political advantage to do what is best for the country.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | November 19, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Disdain for the president and a stubborn determination to continue to be "the Party of No," to obstruct Obama and the Democrats at every opportunity--whether it makes sense or not, whether it's in the national interest or not, whether it has public support or not seems to be the No. 1 priority of Mitch McConnell, Jim DeMint, sundry other GOP Republican senators and a whole raft of House Republicans.
Those who should "call them out" on this are their fellow Republicans, those of a more moderate cast.
It's a moment for Profiles in Courage. Do we dare hold our breath and see if there will be any? Or will we turn blue first?

John Patrick Grace
Huntington, West Virginia

Posted by: publishersplace | November 19, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

You can't say these vile and venemous republican'ts aren't sincere and conscientious:


"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968), Strength to Love, 1963

Posted by: MrTruth | November 19, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

You can't say these vile and venemous republican'ts aren't sincere and conscientious:


"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968), Strength to Love, 1963

Posted by: MrTruth | November 19, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

You can't say these vile and venemous republican'ts aren't sincere and conscientious:


"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968), Strength to Love, 1963

Posted by: MrTruth | November 19, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like teenagers....I have a bumper sticker that really is to the point...
"My patriotic duty is to keep politicians from ruining my government" Right on!!!!!

Posted by: bjk89 | November 19, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like teenagers....I have a bumper sticker that really is to the point...
"My patriotic duty is to keep politicians from ruining my government" Right on!!!!!

Posted by: bjk89 | November 19, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Let me reach across the aisle and hand all you sniveling Democrats a box of Kleenex to blow your nose. Robert Gibbs, who rarely misses an opportunity to spear the Republican leadership gave them a bye when he stated that the date was inconvenient and rescheduled the appointment. Now can we please move on. No pun intended.

Posted by: GMnStoneRidge | November 19, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

For all those of voting age who continue to conflate emotion and public policy, to the detriment of both, please take a deep breath and a long look in the mirror. Ask yourself; am I doing the right thing? Is ridicule, condescension, tribalism, and disrespect the best personal strategy for a democracy to function effectively? Do my actions set the best example for others or make better government more likely? If you're a clear thinking adult, right, left, or center, the answer will be obvious. The problems we face are big and the solutions will require broad public support to succeed. So let's put our emotions aside, take a deep breath, exhale, and get to work.

Posted by: halsey49 | November 19, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

How typical of these two - listen, I don't care how inconvenient it is, when my boss wants to see me, I go and I bet you folks do too. As much as McConnell and Boehner hate the fact, Barack Obama is the Commander in Chief. If the President calls for you at 3:00 a.m., you get up and put on your pants and get yourself there. Would they? I kind of doubt it and that is something that really disturbs me. The fact that their attitude toward the President is so disrespectful and distainful, I wonder if even in a crisis, their response might not be the same? As evidence of that statement, their dragging their feet on ratifying The Start Treaty is one example I would submit. Folks, the senate ratifying this Treaty is vital to our National Security and there has been ample time for reviewing all the data on this issue, but Senator McConnell is still trying to stall on it. His hatred for the President and reluctance to support him on anything is so acute that his single focus is to try to cause him problems, even when its something this critical. This is so unbelievably irresponsible that folks, you need to make sure your senators know how you feel about this because this issue is not a democratic or republican idea. It has been endorsed by Republican Presidents and Democratic Presidents, the current and past Secretarys of State and NSA's and Joint Chiefs. This is one area where politics should not be an influence- this is a matter of our nations' security. If our elected officials won't move on this, we, the people are going to have to make some noise and quickly. It boggles my mind that there are people in Congress that are getting away with this kind of behavior. Not only getting away with it, but are being elected and re-elected. This treaty needs to be ratified this year - the longer we wait, the more danger of some of these loose nukes getting into the wrong hands and that is very serious business. Should some disaster happen, these idiots will be the first ones to try to point their fingers at Obama when it was their own irresponsible behavior that enabled it to happen. When McConnell said their #1 priority was to make sure Obama was a one term president, he meant what he said and to the detriment of the country. To the detriment of our citizens. I won't even get started on their refusal to extend unemployment benefits. They make me sick! Playing politics and having party allegence is one thing, but they were elected and swore they would uphold the good of our country and its people - that is me and you. People need to make themselves aware of just what is involved on some of the no votes. Pay close attention because your life will be effected by how the people you elected vote.

Posted by: bluedogdem1 | November 19, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh I see!!!! The democrats, who rammed the health care bill through without discussions with Republican congressmen, now wanty to be bipartisan, now that they are behind the 8-ball.
Obama, Reid, Hoyer and Pelosi need to understand that they have been spanked by the voters for their distasteful political tactics. They should just stop crying and understand that what goes around...comes around!!!!

Posted by: brooklynborn1 | November 19, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Reply to eefster:

We need less praying and more voting in the next congressional election.

Vote Democratic if you want cooperation in congress.

Posted by: janye1 | November 19, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Find it difficult to understand why McConnell and Boehner couldn't make the scheduled bipartisan meeting at the White House. Organizing their caucuses shouldn't be a problem. How much time do you need to tell your new Republicans how to say "no"?

Posted by: softjazz41 | November 19, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The American people are smart enough to see McConnell and Boehner's obstructionism for what it is and punish their party accordingly.

Posted by: fichblue | November 19, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

The American people are smart enough to see McConnell and Boehner's obstructionism for what it is and punish their party accordingly.

Posted by: fichblue | November 19, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

I pray to our Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, that our government can be guided by our constitution, soundly, ethically, and justly, to solve the issues facing the American people today. As a team, from both sides. I refute the DEVIL from the capitol building, and send the Holy Spirit upon it, to work in the name of the Lord's kingdom, and for the good will of the people of the USA, and his people and all people of the WORLD. AMEN. We are stronger and better, than what we look like right now!

Posted by: eefster | November 19, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The messiah scheduled the meeting without coordinating ... clue bird still has not nested @ 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
For Mr. Hoyer, nothing less than the soon to be ex-speaker would have done to a Republican president; get over it.

Posted by: pielusztcontractor | November 19, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are acting like 15-year olds. Do the opposite of whatever President Obama says just because, regardless of what it means for our country. America be damned.

The really sad part is that most of the people who just put them into office will make excuses for them instead of realizing their mistake and trying to correct it in 2012.

Posted by: jharrison5 | November 19, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Everything the Republicans have done for the past two years has clearly been intended to "put that * in his place." Just like the Old South.

Posted by: redneck2 | November 19, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

OOPS!
A scheduling problem for a meeting that BO set up but never confirmed?
At least it will take longer for "We the People" to be screwed by the Democrats again.

Posted by: rteske | November 19, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

It is so discouraging to see grown men, and women, act like 14 year olds. I teach 8th graders, have done so for 39 years, and I always have thought, though they are mainly fine people, they tend to be extremely self centered, egocentric. That is the nature of that age. Unfortunately, most of the people in congress, truly most, have their own re-election in mind in all that they do. They can't get along, are unwilling and I believe unable to solve real problems, and do a lot of name calling and put downs. Does that sound familiar! Yes! We are being led by a bunch of 14 year olds. God help us; they won't.

Piman

Posted by: piman1 | November 19, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Gibbs said "the White House agreed the original date was inconvenient". This headline is very misleading.

Posted by: ohioan | November 18, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans need to realize that independents expect them to govern and not behave as though the 2012 campaign is already on. If they continue to insist on not doing anything for the good of the U.S. just because it will make Pres. Obama or the Democrats look good, they will find the elections in 2012 can swing just as wildly in the opposite direction.

Posted by: WenonahSolo | November 18, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

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