Later today, President Obama will announce that he has invited Republican and Democratic leaders from both the House and Senate to the White House after he returns from his trip to Asia. The meeting will focus on areas where there may be common ground.
In the short term, President Obama will:
*push the Senate to ratify the START treaty with Russia for nuclear disarmament,
*push the House to pass a child nutrition bill to make school food more nutritious and feed more hungry kids, and
*top priority — extending the Bush tax cuts for the middle class. For the first time, yesterday the president signaled he is will to negotiate on also extending them to the wealthy as Republicans want.
Longer term the president wants to work with Republicans on:
*spurring economic growth through tax credits for businesses;
*reducing the deficit and the national debt;
*education reform; and
*"changing the way Washington works," including reform of the earmark process.