House Republicans will soon ask President Obama for a meeting to discuss their ideas to revive the economy, according to several GOP leadership sources.
Republican leaders, who have panned the House Democrats’ stimulus package, could send a letter to Obama seeking the sit-down as early as Thursday.
Even though many members of the minority party praised the message that Obama conveyed in Tuesday’s Inaugural address, they don’t intend to give him much of a honeymoon period.
Republican officials say they intend to hold Obama to his promise of including them in discussions on the economic stimulus legislation and fire away at their Democratic colleagues in Congress for excluding them from the process.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has praised the bipartisan tone that Obama has struck, but sharply criticized Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) move to curtail the GOP’s power in the lower chamber.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who is heading the House GOP economic stimulus group, and Ways and Means Committee ranking member Dave Camp (R-Mich.) are expected to play a major role in lambasting the Democrats’ bill.
“They will point out that congressional Democrats have moved in the opposite direction of President Obama, refusing to work with the GOP on a bipartisan approach to economic recovery that would be geared toward middle-class taxpayers and small businesses — while not wasting precious taxpayer dollars or blowing up the national deficit,” according to Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring.
Republicans have balked at the spending measures in the stimulus, and are calling for more tax cuts.
Just because the Republicans are in the minority does not mean they can’t influence the outcome of legislation, according to one member.
“You can get things done in the minority … you just have to work harder,” Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) said following the Inaugural ceremony.
# # #