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. Felonious Monk

    Health care debates were televised just like Obama said they would be. I watched some of them, boring.
    Most of us have jobs and need to provide for our families and that is why most of us did not see them on CSPAN.

    This is a transparent administration. Most of you are either racists, or belive in ideas over people. Or you are corrupt.

    Now, which is it?

    February 17, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. Jenny S

    Newsweek and other polls predict the dems will have major meltdown in Nov.,why not just wait and the repubs do it then.All the dems do is blow hot air,lie,and blame their failure on the repubs.

    February 17, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. johnrj08

    I'm sure that the Republicans will simply call for more unfunded tax cuts, which have already proven to be ineffectual in stimulating job growth or spending. Didn't work for Bush, and won't work for Boehner, either. What Boehner want's Pelosi and Reid to do on camera is come out against tax cuts, which the Republicans will then use as a weapon in the coming election.

    February 17, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    The orange man has spoken.

    Must be some of the plans are starting to work and now they want to stall them until after november.

    Stall and Lie, Say No and Lie. It's getting old like you white men. RETIRE

    btw I'm white also – but not power hungry, and not trying to send our president to his waterloo.

    February 17, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  5. rick, salt lake city

    Does anybody know the GOP's ideas on any issues, if you do let me see some, I don't mind crtisizing the President, but have either a better solution or plan, instead all this is political traction. Mr. Cantor whines all the time about the President, he and Boehner call it a trap when Obama wanted a health care summit to be televised, why would they call it a trap? This is there chance to show the country their ideas on health care, why is that a trap? unless they are admitting that they don't have a plan, and don't want to be exposed , by the way Health Care and the economy go hand in hand ,ask small buisness owners, who go bankrupt because of our Health Care system.

    February 17, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  6. The Middle

    Took Obama a year to realize jobs were a problem,I hope now he is looking at private sector jobs and not just government jobs and very large corporations.

    February 17, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. Felonious Monk

    When Obama wiped the floor with the republican representatives of congress Fox news cut away to "breaking news" of no importance. They did not want to air the wiping of the floor.

    I watched it, Obama wiped the floor with the republicans, even when they asked about their "pet" projects he wiped the floor with them. All they were trying to do was make "our" president look bad, but could not.
    Republicans re-write history. They had to go back 20 years to find footage of a democrat with something written on her hand. Is Sarah Palin so fragile they need to research 20 years of footage to prop her up and make her legit?
    Republicans re-write history. Look at how many times they changed their story for invading the soveriegn nation of Iraq. If they would have said "We want their oil" they might have had some support. At least they would have been honest.

    February 17, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. mary

    I think this is a good idea. All senate sessions should be televised so GOP can't blame the democrats.
    They should all work together and help get this country out of this mess.
    Who cares which party they are from we are all AMERICANS
    We have never been in this situation before so how can we blame either party.
    There is nothing wrong with trying different ideas. Let's quit the blame game you are not playing cards you are playing with peoples futures.

    February 17, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  9. Dysfunctional Palin's Malfunctioning "Palm" Pilot

    Why would they want another televised wuppin' by the POTUS? Their last invitation didn't relfect so well on them and all their newly discovered "principles".

    February 17, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  10. Stop the Nonsense

    Absolutely a great request. Funny, but when the Democrats asked for this they were told no.
    I guess even when you refuse to listen to the other party you can still hear.

    February 17, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. If you want someting taxed, and ruined, elect a democrat

    Correction...62% said the country was heading in the wrong direction in the NYT poll.. mt bad. :)

    February 17, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  12. Mike in MN

    I find it somewhat amazing that Democrats are so certain that if they get the Republicans on TV they won't have any ideas or voters will think all their ideas are bad.
    That is really amazing when you consider that the stimulus, health care reform and cap and trade bills were all written by Democrats and voters don't like any of them.
    I know that even though the Democrats claim Republicans have no ideas, they actually know they do. And what is so amazing about the Democrats, is that they are so sure, knowing already the voters do not like their own bills, that they also won't like the Republican ideas.
    That kind of thinking requires and incredible ego. Explains a lot.

    February 17, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. TRUTH

    if Hilary was in the DEMS would have no problems, but IS Obama is doing a good job after the mess bush left ? USA is best with DEMS running the show

    February 17, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  14. Tim

    What a hypocrite!!! If the president was responsible for a cure for cancer, Bonehead would complain the now we have a over population problem. When you are more interested in making the other party look bad at the expense of the American people, you are no longer fit to lead.

    February 17, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. L for Legend

    What has they GOP said that hasn't already been said? They just keep twisting the same old same old.

    February 17, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. Robin in Tampa, FL

    I'm not sure what the hold up is now? The House passed their part of a jobs bill back in December. It's now mid-February and the leadership in the Senate is still bickering back-and-forth over the jobs bill. Please, just pass something for once.

    February 17, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. ran

    Hope it happens so all will see how the Republicans are doing all they can to stop anything from happening. More fear/hate/obstructionism by the Republicans.

    February 17, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Brandon

    This is sad. Both the republicans and democrats cannot sit down and do what is right for America. I am sick of this. I never thought that I would actually want to buy a home outside the US. But I am sure thinking about it now. And this Tea Party or as I call it the Party of Jim Crow Laws is worse. We are real trouble here in America.

    February 17, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. GaryB

    When will the politicians (the Republicans in particular) stop giving us political theater for the sake of scoring cheap points and actually focus on doing something? Here's a challenge to the GOP. All you guys that voted against the stimulus (and that would be all of you Republicans) encourage your respective states to return their stimulus funds in an effort to balance the budget. They won't do it, however, because A) The stimulus is actually helping to save jobs and the last thing they want is more unemployment in their districts.
    B) These clowns love to have it both ways; dis the stimulus to impress the teabaggers but then show up to take the credit when the money gets doled out.

    February 17, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. Haas

    Oh, now you want it televised. The GOP always want it their way or no way.

    February 17, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  21. annie against biased news

    Though not the biggest Republican fan in this country, the demmies had really better listen up. Nothing obama has done has helped our economy or our job market so ALL of these clowns in dc better listen up!

    February 17, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. Shelly

    Everyday, I am reminded that the Republicans are suffering from severe memory loss. They have forgotten under Bush/Cheney job loss was 4 to 5 times it is now. And due to NO regulation of banks, not keeping books on the trillion spent on the false Iraq war; not accounting for the massive Medicare ( to my GOP friends... yup Medicare is socialized system) and many other dubious activities by the previous administration has got us into this deep hole!!!!
    Boehner and their likes continue to lie and brainwash the folks that have made no effort to understand the real world around them.

    February 17, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  23. Gerry NH

    I wish they all would get togeater and do something for the people but with this congress probably not. I am voting against all incumbents in NH and nation wide in 2010 7 2012.

    February 17, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. W l Jones

    Where were these Republican when the stumilus bill were past" on vacation? Tell me if I am wrong the two leading Republican in washington do not know what going on in both house! We have a problem up there need correcting.

    February 17, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  25. Party of What Exactly?

    Sen. Mitch McConnel will now make my point below. Does he want entitlements like Medicare addressed or not? Good thing he voted against a deficit commission, he must be real serious.

    Miami Herald:
    "McConnell voted against debt panel, but he has some suggestions ... come up with a way to deal with our large unfunded mandate problem: Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid. We have massive unfunded liabilities because we have promised way more than we can possibly deliver."

    AP:
    "Americans don't want another bill that .,.. slashes Medicare for our seniors," said Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

    February 17, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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