Obama to lunch Wednesday with congressional GOP leaders
Updated: 3 p.m.
President Obama will host top congressional Republicans at the White House for lunch Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced Tuesday.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) are scheduled to attend the lunch with Obama at 12:30 p.m.
"I think the president will have a chance to talk through with them many of the things that he outlined in the State of the Union," Gibbs said, adding that the quartet will likely focus on "all issues, foreign and domestic," with "a heavy discussion on the economy and on spending."
One item not likely to be on the agenda -- at least in detail -- is the federal budget. Gibbs said that the White House "will save that" for Feb. 14, the day the budget is set to be officially released.
Cantor told reporters Tuesday at his weekly pen-and-pad briefing that he was looking forward to the meeting.
"I'm very appreciative of the invite and look forward to the discussion," Cantor said. "Hopefully this speaks to his willingness to focus on the issues that the American people are telling us to focus on, which is jobs and the economy."
Cantor added that he'd like to speak with Obama about his remarks on Monday to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, during which the president urged businesses to hire and invest in order to boost the economy.
"I think that what I heard is a sense that somehow business in America needs to respond and act in a way that is somehow grateful for Washington's acts," Cantor said of Obama's remarks to the Chamber. "And this sort of quid-pro-quo, that if Washington acts to -- whatever it is the president's proposing, whether it's reducing the corporate rates, or whether it's passing trade bills -- that somehow business owes it to the country to do X, Y, Z, I think that misses the mark."
The meeting follows one late last week between Obama and the top Senate Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
| February 8, 2011; 3:00 PM ET
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