February 17th, 2010
05:14 PM ET
4 years ago

House GOP pushes for televised jobs summit with Pelosi, Democrats

Rep. John Boehner and other GOP leaders sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for a televised meeting.
Rep. John Boehner and other GOP leaders sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for a televised meeting.

Washington (CNN) – Top congressional Republicans called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday to hold a televised meeting with members of both parties aimed at crafting a bipartisan job growth bill.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, sent a letter to Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, arguing that current efforts to stimulate the economy haven't worked.

Mounting job losses demand that both sides work together on new approaches, they said.

The two leaders have complained that the $154 billion jobs bill passed by the House at the end of last year was drafted without GOP input.

It is "widely believed to be dead-on-arrival in the Senate," they wrote.

"Though we had different philosophical approaches, it is unfortunate that there was neither a public discussion nor an opportunity for the American people - especially small business owners - to become more engaged in the discussion. Had there been such a discussion perhaps Congress would have produced a bill that more directly addressed our nation's economic problems," the letter states.

CNN sought reaction to the GOP proposal from Pelosi and Hoyer, but did not receive any response.

President Barack Obama appeared last month in a rare televised forum at the House Republican retreat. The meeting, which was carried live on cable networks, showed the president and Republicans engaged in a sometimes heated, but substantive discussion on a range of issues including health care, the deficit, and jobs.

Obama has since invited a group of bipartisan leaders from the House and Senate to participate in a similar open meeting later this month on health care reform.

Boehner and Cantor noted that Senate Democrats also held an open meeting with Obama and let television cameras in. Tweaking Pelosi and other Democratic leaders for not showing the same transparency and having a similar forum, they asked her to "follow this precedent and agree to participate in an open meeting focused on job creation and economic growth between leaders of both parties in the House."

House GOP aides point to a series of recent public opinion polls showing the public most concerned about the economy. They believe that while congressional Democrats continue to wrangle over health care legislation, there's an opening for Republicans to gain an advantage on the issue of job creation.

"We don't feel that Democrats have a good message when it comes to creating a new environment for economic growth and job creation, and we are confident that Republicans do," Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring told CNN.

Obama and top congressional Democrats spent much of the day Wednesday marking the one-year anniversary of administration's $826 billion economic stimulus bill. Democrats claim the unemployment rate and overall economy would be significantly worse without the influx of federal funds.


Filed under: Congress • Jobs
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. A keen observer

    If the Republicans are going to come up with the same old stuff they have been proposing for the last twenty years, any summit with them will be a waste of time. Tax cuts will not produce one new job and will lead to higher deficits. The Republicans now say they want to be fiscally responsible (which they haven't been since the Reagan years) they will have to come with something besides tax cuts and any idea they put forward must be paid for.

    Republicans and conservatives must walk the walk in addition to talking the talk.

    February 17, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  2. james

    Oh yeah, like Pelosi's gonna allow anything legislative to be televised. There's a better chance of Charles Manson getting parole than there is of negotiations with Pelosi being televised.

    February 17, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  3. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    So what are we, the party of NO saying no to?
    No to raising taxes on the 53% of us that pay them to give more handouts to the 43% who don't
    No to deficits 3 times Bush's
    No to using tax dollars to give terrorists lawyers instead of on weapons to kill them
    No to amnesty to illegals who are taking millions of American jobs when unemployment is 10%
    No to a foreign policy of appeasement. Have Iran and North Korea responded to Obama's 'diplomacy'? No, thumb their nose at us.
    No to fighting wars with rules of engagement that put our troops at more risk.
    No to Obama's joke of bipartisanship when Reid and Pelosi lock out any Republican participation.
    No to a liberal agenda that is turning this country into a third world wreck.

    February 17, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. D

    Today I got a mailer requesting my support to impeach Democrats from the Republican party. Time for everybody to wake up, the GOP are planning to lock things up even more in this country and create even more problems. Time for the Dems to start calling for the resignation of these Republicans that sold us out to big business...it's time to organize and push back.

    February 17, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  5. Russ H

    Get her on television and let them hang her. Maybe we can bring Obama and Reid on their also along with the other idiots by the name of Bushes

    February 17, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. Dumbasrocks Mike MN

    Allowing BOTH sides to present their arguments on TV in front of the public is somehow not bipartisan? Oh really? I knew you rightwingers couldn't handle transparency, but do you guys really believe the vacuous rhetoric that excretes from your mouths?

    The [D]s don't have to trash [R] ideas. The [R]s did a good job of doing that themselves - just who was in charge from 2001-2008, spouting their rightwing ideals while NOTHING but tax breaks for the rich got done and the economy slid into a hole? You have to be a blathering idiot to think the [D]s need to trash your FAILED ideas. Recent history speak volumes for those with any brains enough to listen.

    By the way, you "strict constitutionalists" should realize that the voters do NOT reject bills. Only the Congress can vote on bills. The public has done NO rejecting since Nov. 2008.

    I like the hypocrisy about Obama manipulating people....from someone whose whole life is manipulated by rightwing propaganda spewed by your neo-moronic dream team on Fux News.

    February 17, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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