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Policy: Law

White House downplays Obama, John Boehner meeting

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Politics,White House,Congress,Brian Hughes,Immigration,Barack Obama,John Boehner,Health Care,PennAve,Law,Trade

The White House on Tuesday downplayed the importance of a rare face-to-face meeting between President Obama and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in the Oval Office.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Obama welcomed the meeting but again reiterated the president's pledge to move ahead with unilateral action.

“We are looking for a partner in Congress to advance part of that agenda,” Carney said, adding that Obama “would not wait” on lawmakers to enact other changes.

Carney accused the Washington press corps of exaggerating the importance of continual talks between Obama and Boehner.

Obama’s top spokesman called it a misconception that getting laws passed “depends on the relationship between a president and a speaker."

Obama and Boehner, for about an hour, discussed immigration, trade, and the Affordable Care Act.

The two hadn’t met alone in the Oval Office since December 2012.

Both the White House and Boehner’s office characterized the talks as constructive but declined to provide more than general details about the discussion.

“The two discussed a wide range of issues, including manufacturing, trade promotion authority, flood insurance, immigration, the president's health care law, Afghanistan, the appropriations process, California drought relief, wildfire suppression, and the highway bill,” a Boehner aide said.

“They agreed that there is a lot work to do the rest of the year, and it is important to work together wherever we can find common ground.”

Republicans have been putting pressure on Democrats to approve "fast-track" legislation for trade deals, saying progressives are blocking an area where the White House and conservatives are in agreement.

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Brian Hughes

White House Correspondent
The Washington Examiner