CAMBRIDGE, Md. – After President
Ahead of a three-day retreat that started here Wednesday night, House GOP leaders signed a letter to the president identifying four of the priorities he’d set in Tuesday's
“Under our Constitution, most action requires the
First on the list was Obama’s announcement that Vice President
The letter also quotes Obama saying that "a mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or a sick parent without running into hardship," and that it was time to "do away with workplace policies that belong in a 'Mad Men' episode." The GOP leaders go on to promote a bill passed last May, the Working Families Flexibility Act, which would allow individuals to earn comp time instead of receiving overtime pay.
“It is wrong that federal law from the pre-‘Mad Men’ era denies these mothers and fathers this flexibility,” the Republicans say. Obama, though, cited the hit
The recurring theme of the GOP letter is one Republicans have tried to advance -- that despite the popular image of Congress as having produced little meaningful legislation this term, the House has sent a stack of bills to the Democratic-controlled Senate, only to see them collect dust.
The letter was signed by Boehner and his leadership deputies--Eric Cantor of Virginia, Kevin McCarthy of California and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, who delivered the official Republican response to Obama's speech Tuesday night.
"We haven't given up on working with you to find areas of common agreement," the Republicans write. "We are confident that success in these areas will open even more avenues for success. The American people are counting on us. Let's get to work."
House Republicans plan to use their retreat here to try to find consensus on a number of other key issues not listed in the letter, including
Obama, in his nationally televised speech, said he looked forward to working with Congress but, in the event agreement on key issues could not be reached, would seek any unilateral actions he could take via executive orders.
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