House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with President Barack Obama at the White House Monday together with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
“My hope is that we can make some modest progress in areas where we agree and where we’ve been working together,” Obama said after the meeting. “After the election, I’m even more hopeful that we can get some things done.”
The group of leaders discussed their desire to reach a “speedy resolution on a short-term funding bill” that would include funding to fight the Zika virus, according to an aide for the Speaker who was familiar with the meeting discussion.
Obama called for Republicans to keep the federal government open and demanded more funding to help stop the Zika virus. They also discussed Obama’s desire for more government spending on the Louisiana flooding recovery and funding to fix the pipes in Flint, Michigan, according to the White House.
Ryan also objected to the idea of doing another omnibus spending bill in the Fall and talked about his desire to restore normal order in the appropriations process, according to an aide.
The White House opened up the meeting to the press after it was finished. Ryan and McConnell were seated on a couch to Obama’s right and Reid and Pelosi on the president’s left.
“Even though I know that we’re in the midst of a political season and everybody is thinking about elections, there’s still business to be done and I was encouraged by some of the constructive work that’s being done right now,” Obama said.
Ryan and McConnell did not speak, but photographers took pictures of both Republican leaders sitting with the president.