Jan 09

Obama courting key Republicans on Tennessee trip

When President Obama travels to Tennessee on Friday, Air Force One will be carrying some unusual cargo: Republicans.Speaking at the start of a three-state tour Wednesday, Obama highlighted areas where he intends to keep going it alone despite new GOP majorities in Congress. But in Tennessee, it seems, the tour turns from confrontation to courtship as he will be joined by a pair of Republicans whose cooperation will be essential in scoring any legislative victories in the new year.The two senators set to join the president for the trip to Knoxville are newly-minted chairmen of Senate committees that will have a major say over both his domestic & foreign policy agenda — Lamar Alexander on the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee & Bob Corker on the Foreign Relations Committee.Both men fit the mold of Republicans who, unlike some of their more tea-party aligned colleagues, have expressed willingness to work with the president. Each is a former executive, Alexander a former governor & Education Department secretary who once ran for president himself, & Corker a former businessman & mayor of Chattanooga.Corker was already the focus of a short-lived “charm offensive” by the White House in 2013 that matched the president with small groups of Republicans in hopes of a fresh start early in his second term — earning the rarest of presidential invitations: to a round of golf.<!– <div class=”trb_embed_media ” > Congressional Democrats have a list of resolutions for Obama Michael A. Memoli Returning to Washington with fewer numbers & increased doubt approximately their direction in the new Congress, Democrats are pushing President Obama to pursue a more aggressive economic agenda that lays the groundwork for a political rebound in 2016 by focusing sharply on helping the middle class. Returning to Washington with fewer numbers & increased doubt approximately their direction in the new Congress, Democrats are pushing President Obama to pursue a more aggressive economic agenda that lays the groundwork for a political rebound in 2016 by focusing sharply on helping the middle class. ( Michael A. Memoli ) –>But both have shown no reluctance in confronting the president & say they won’t hesitate to do so in the next two years. Any action the Senate takes regarding the Affordable Care Act will likely start in Alexander’s committee. And any effort to curtail the president’s foreign policy moves in the Middle East, Cuba & elsewhere will receive tough scrutiny in Corker’s.”What better time could there be to be chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee than at a time when … it’s such an significant area not just for the United States yet for the world, & at a time when no doubt the president’s going to be active in that regard,” Corker said in an interview. …

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