As the GOP continues its victory lap in the wake of the party's impressive showing on Tuesday, the White House has been making the media rounds with a simple message: Let’s see what you’ve got.
“The president’s eager to hear from them, we’re eager to see what the Republican agenda is, what the Republican priorities are” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday on “Morning Joe.” “We may not agree on most things, but I think the question on the minds of a lot voters is…are you going to make progress on the things you can agree on?”
“If Republicans are wanting to work with us,” White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri said on “The Daily Rundown.” “There's a lot that we can get done."
The president will meet with 14 congressional leaders—both Democratic and Republican—on Friday to talk about the upcoming legislative session. Already, there are two clear impasses: immigration reform and Obamacare.
House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday afternoon that if the president uses executive authority on immigration to stay deportations “he is going to poison the well." He added, "When you play with matches, you take the risk of burning yourself. And he is going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path. The American people made it clear election day, they want to get things done and they don't want the president acting on a unilateral basis."
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough rejected that idea on "Andrea Mitchell Reports," saying the president hoped the bill would be a “catalyst” to motivate the Senate to reform immigration, at which point the president would tear up the executive order. “Or the House could take up the bipartisan Senate bill later this month or next, then the president would have to act at all,” he said.
In an op-ed printed Thursday in The Wall Street Journal, both Republican leaders vowed to repeal Obamacare.
Asked during a press briefing if trying to repeal the president's signature legislative achievement would similarly "poison the well," Boehner pushed back.
“The American people have made it clear their not for Obamacare. Ask all those Democrats who lost their elections on Tuesday night,” he said. "My job is not to get along with the president just to get along with him, although we actually have a nice relationship. The fact is, my job is to listen to my members and listen to the American people and make their priorities our priorities."
He admitted that a bill like that might not pass the Senate, but indicated that Republicans wanted to make big changes. “Just because we may not get everything we want, doesn’t mean we should try,” he said.