The Washington Post

Obama, Boehner meet at the White House Tuesday

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File) (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) met at the White House on Tuesday to discuss policy matters including immigration reform and the minimum wage.

White House press secretary Jay Carney called meeting, which lasted about an hour, "good and constructive. It covered a range of issues."

Boehner's office issued a statement after the session detailing the conversation, noting the two men discussed issues including "manufacturing, trade promotion authority, flood insurance, immigration, the president’s health care law, Afghanistan, the appropriations process, California drought relief, wildfire suppression, and the highway bill. They agreed that there is a lot work to do the rest of the year, and it is important to work together wherever we can find common ground.”

Boehner and Obama rarely meet for direct, in-person talks. The last time they met alone in the Oval Office was in December 2012 during the "fiscal cliff" imbroglio, according to Boehner's spokesman Brendan Buck. Boehner and a group of House Republican leaders visited the White House in October last year to talk about the government shutdown.

Carney told reporters that should not only rely on public meetings as an indication of the rapport between Obama and the speaker, whose relationship he described as "solid."

"We do not read out every conversation and meeting the president has with members of Congress," he said, adding the press inflates the importance of such exchanges, since it is not true "success or failure of legislation in Congress depends on the relationship between the president and the speaker, or the president and a leader in Congress."

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.



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