Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.). (J Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)
The Senate’s second-ranking Republican didn’t come away from today’s meeting at the White House with a very positive impression. Here’s what Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) had to say:
“For weeks I have been asking the President to meet with Senate Republicans, and I am pleased that he did so today. But what could have been a productive conversation was instead another predictable lecture from the President that did not lay out a new path forward. Senate Republicans are back at the Capitol and will continue to discuss plans to cut spending and open the government.”
Other Republican senators returning to the Capitol after a White House meeting with President Obama described a substantive meeting with the president that was focused as much on a larger conversation about the nation’s fiscal problems as it was on how to open the government or raise the debt ceiling for just a few weeks.
“It wasn’t a tit-for-tat or this-for-that kind of conversation. It was a more serious policy content conversation,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
“I was pleasantly surprised,” he said. “I think there’s a gelling that’s beginning to take place. I think it’s very possible that over the next short amount of time a constructive agreement may occur.”
“I don’t know that I want to talk publicly about what they are. But a framework to go forward in a constructive way to address both the short and longer term,” he said.
Republicans said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) spent several minutes briefing Obama on a proposal she has been circulating to Democrats that would raise the debt ceiling and reopen government, but repeal the medical device place and leave sequestration cuts in place.
“I don’t’ want to give the impress that he endorsed it,” she said, but he indicated there were “elements” with which he agreed.
Senators indicated talks would continue through the day and likely through the weekend.
“It was a cordial discussion and the president was willing to listen as well as give his point of view, so I think it was helpful,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio.)