President Barack Obama on Sunday said the Republican-led Congress won’t be able to achieve major legislative accomplishments because they will have “bad” relationships with their Republican counterparts.
Obama said in a speech that lawmakers will be working with President Donald Trump to pass a major piece of legislation and that Trump’s team will be “willing to work with us” on it.
“That’s what this is all about.
And what we need to do,” he said.
“I want to tell you that when I spoke to my colleague, Senator John McCain of Arizona, about the way in which they will do this, it was clear that they would not have a relationship that is bad.
And so we’ll have to work together.”
Obama said Congress will likely pass “a bill that has a lot of provisions that are designed to benefit the American people.”
“They will have bad relationships with Republican lawmakers, and they will not be able [to] deliver on their promises.
That’s going to be the case,” he added.
Obama did not name the legislation, but he has said the legislation will create a national “recovery commission” to examine the nation’s economic woes.
“There are some good things that the president is doing,” he continued.
“But what the president has to do is he has to be willing to work for the American citizens.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the president spoke to both McCain and Flake about the economic recovery, and that McCain expressed support for the recovery commission.
“I think both have expressed support that this is a priority for the president, and he’s happy to work to make sure that happens,” Psaki told reporters Sunday.
The president spoke with McCain on the phone Sunday, she added.
“We’ve been working on the economic situation for a while now, and I think it’s going well.
He’s happy about it.
He believes it’s important to make this recovery happen.”
The White House also released a statement from Flake on Saturday, saying he is “confident that the economic plan that he and the president outlined today will be a major accomplishment for the country, and we will continue to work closely with both parties to achieve this goal.”
“This is a major economic victory for the U.S.,” he said, “and I’m proud of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”
The president’s speech came a day after Trump said the congressional Republicans won’t meet with him in person to discuss a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.