Obama, Cantor Begin Era of Détente

Thursday, 08 Mar 2012 11:42 AM

By Dan Weil

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President Barack Obama’s relationship with House Speaker John Boehner may have deteriorated. But it has improved with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and in an election year at that, The Hill reports.

The latest evidence of the rapprochement was a White House statement of support Tuesday for a Republican jobs proposal spearheaded by Cantor. Following the White House statement, Cantor’s office released a statement of its own touting Obama’s backing, The Hill reports. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act should pass the House easily, though it may encounter trouble in the Senate.

Despite the progress, Obama and Cantor haven’t suddenly turned into close allies. Cantor still attacks the administration on healthcare, tax reform, and foreign policy. But the relationship has taken a huge turn since Cantor discussed with his staff why Obama “hates him so much” six months ago, as New York magazine reported. Cantor’s collegial ties with Vice President Joe Biden and new White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew have helped smooth the relationship, The Hill reports.

House Republican leadership Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon said Wednesday that the GOP has sought to cooperate with the White House on job-creation proposals for some time.

Asked when the White House had last worked cooperatively with Republicans on the issue, Walden said, “This would be it.”



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