Government & Politics

Sen. Roy Blunt meets with President Obama and sees a chance to act on a narrow bipartisan agenda

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said he believes Republicans can find common ground with the Obama administration on trade, cybersecurity and the authorization of military force against Islamic State radicals.
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said he believes Republicans can find common ground with the Obama administration on trade, cybersecurity and the authorization of military force against Islamic State radicals. The Associated Press

After meeting with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said he believes Republicans can find common ground with the administration on trade, cybersecurity and the authorization of military force against Islamic State radicals.

“I hope President Obama will work with us,” Blunt said in a statement.

But the Republican lawmaker stressed that the president’s veto threats “are not helpful.”

Blunt serves as vice chairman of the GOP conference in the Senate. He was among a group of congressional leaders who met Tuesday with Obama in the Cabinet room of the White House. The group included House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Also attending the meeting was Vice President Joe Biden.

In brief remarks to reporters after the meeting, Obama called for keeping progress going on the economy.

He acknowledged “disagreements” around the room but cited cybersecurity, trade, taxes and streamlining government as possible areas of bipartisan cooperation.

“The key now is for us to work as a team to build on this progress,” the president said.

One area in which Blunt and Obama are unlikely to find agreement soon is immigration. Blunt is leading Republican efforts in the Senate to block funding for Obama’s recent executive actions to protect 4 million immigrants from deportation by granting them temporary legal status.

Blunt has called the executive actions an “lawless immigration power grab.” He co-sponsors a bill that would block funding for the Department of Homeland Security to implement the new policy and bar immigrants who qualify for the program from working.

To reach Lindsay Wise, call 202-383-6007 or send email to lwise@mcclatchydc.com.

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