President Barack Obama continued his push for a grand bargain, an immigration overhaul and the rest of his agenda in a meeting with House Republicans on Wednesday, but GOP leaders immediately shut the door on any compromises that would include new taxes.
Obama appealed to Republicans to come to the table on a bipartisan budget package — saying he’s willing to back $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax revenue — and he argued that reaching agreement on immigration would benefit them politically.
But he also told them balancing the budget over the next 10 years is not on his priority list.
Republicans thanked the president for the rare sojourn to the Capitol and said they hoped that this would start a new dialogue with the president on a range of issues. But many lawmakers said deep suspicions and divisions remain.
GOP leaders immediately held a news conference where they praised the president’s visiting but reiterated their opposition to his tax demands.