Defiant congressional Republicans attacked President Barack Obama’s agenda from all sides Tuesday, ignoring veto threats and pushing bills to uproot his policies on immigration and Wall Street, force approval of energy pipeline legislation he opposes and make him justify any new federal rules before he makes them.
Obama invited his antagonists to the White House for their first face-to-face meeting since the new Republican-controlled Congress convened. But their show of cordiality for the cameras did little to mask the partisan hostilities between Capitol Hill and the White House.
“The key now is for us to work as a team,” said Obama, who has issued five veto threats with the new Congress not yet two weeks old. He cited taxes, trade and cybersecurity as areas for potential cooperation, and also told lawmakers that he would send them a new authorization for the use of military force against the Islamic State group.
Back at the Capitol, the Senate debated legislation to force the administration to allow construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. And the House moved toward a vote late Tuesday on a regulatory reform bill that the White House says would impose “unprecedented and unnecessary” requirements on agencies trying to write rules.