President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner spoke Tuesday in the Oval Office, a rare meeting in their often frosty relationship.
This was the first time the two have sat down in the Oval Office — without other members of Congress present — since the fiscal cliff negotiations fell apart in late 2012, though the two have communicated during that time, including several phone calls.
“The president and speaker had a constructive conversation in the Oval Office for about an hour today,” a Boehner aide said. “The two discussed a wide range of issues, 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. They agreed that there is a lot work to do the rest of the year, and it is important to work together wherever we can find common ground.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney echoed those remarks, calling it “a good and constructive meeting,” and declining to give further details.
Over the past year, the two have been openly reluctant to negotiate with each other.
After the 2012 fiscal cliff negotiations between Obama and Boehner fell apart, Boehner declared that he was finished with one-on-one negotiations with the president.
“Frankly, every time I’ve gotten into one of these high-profile negotiations, you know, it’s my rear end that got burnt,” Boehner said at the time, according to the Associated Press.