President Barack Obama, during Diwali, before leaving for Asia, invited congressional leaders from both parties to meet him “to get going on job creation and the other central issues lying ahead,” according to the White House blog. Republicans gained a majority in the House of Representatives in what the president called “a shellacking” of his party.
Obama said he hoped the meeting would be more than a photo-op, but would extend into dinner. He is about to travel to Asia to visit trade partners and allies in the region.
The president will visit India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea for ten days, departing Nov. 5. He will attend the G20 Summit in Seoul and the APEC Summit in Yokohama, Japan.
The President issued a statement on Nov. 4 and lit a lamp to mark the week long holiday of Diwali, which he said represents the triumph of good over evil.
The president said some urgent foreign policy matters should be addressed by legislators.
Non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is vital, he stated, “And I am hopeful that we can get that done before we leave and send a strong signal to Russia that we are serious about reducing nuclear arsenals, but also sending a signal to the world that we’re serious about nonproliferation.”
Obama said at a press conference he called Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi to join him on Nov. 18, the beginning of the lame duck session of Congress, to work on what Congress should accomplish before the newly elected representatives begin.
John Boehner is expected to replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, and Mitch McConnell to replace Harry Reid as Majority Whip, or assistant to the Speaker.
The issues Obama wants the two sides to resolve are unemployment for those still looking for jobs, tax credits for businesses to encourage them to invest in the US, and a way to make sure middle class families retain tax cuts enacted during his and President George W. Bush’s terms.
“We’ve got to provide businesses some certainty about what their tax landscape is going to look like, and we’ve got to provide families certainty," he stated. "That’s critical to maintain our recovery."