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Wed Feb 29, 2012, 03:32 PM

Obama Talks Jobs And The Economy With Top Congressional Leaders (snubs Cantor) [View all]

By DONOVAN SLACK | 2/29/12 1:38 PM EST Updated: 2/29/12 2:14 PM EST

President Barack Obama lunched privately with congressional leaders Wednesday to talk about jobs and the economy ó the first such meeting since last summerís debt-ceiling negotiations dissolved.

The group was limited to only the top congressional leaders: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

That left out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The president and Cantor had a famously tense encounter during the debt ceiling talks ó White House staff said Cantor repeatedly interrupted Obama toward the end of a meeting, Cantorís staff said Obama walked out. But they have in recent days begun working together on a legislative jobs package designed to help small businesses get access to capital.

The bill was drawn from elements of the presidentís jobs agenda, allowing Obama to take credit for proposing the measures, and it was trumpeted by House Republicans as their own jobs act, allowing them to also claim responsibility.



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