President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met in the Oval Office for an hour-long one-on-one conversation on Tuesday, and the session turned into a quick overview of many issues facing the country, 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.” The meeting was the first publicly-known one-on-one meeting between the two since the end of 2012.
The New York Times calculates that the pair spent about five and half minutes going through each issue, and somehow did not manage to reach solutions on any of them. Somehow! After five minutes on each topic! Aides called the meeting “constructive.” Exactly what was constructed is unclear.
In a midterm election year, it’s hard to expect that the meeting will actually lead to anything. Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said, “Everybody around here has the feeling that for the rest of the year, the high-level leadership get-together like that is not likely to produce any substantive legislation.” Chambliss is retiring this year.
Spokespeople for both Boehner and Obama both declined to offer specifics on whether any willingness to negotiate or make concessions had been offered by either man. Sounds like a useful and productive meeting that will help get this country back on track!