Senate Democrats emerged from a meeting with President Barack Obama on Wednesday upbeat about their own budget blueprint and their ability to work with the White House to accomplish the president’s policy goals.
“It was vintage Obama. He made us all feel content, inspired about where we need to go,— Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters after the special party caucus.
Several Senators who participated in the luncheon with Obama said the president called for party unity as the Congress moves forward on the budget next week. Obama, the Senators said, stressed that the most important thing to do was to make sure the spending blueprint makes room for his goals for education, health care, energy, and deficit reduction.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said the president’s message was, “We’re stronger if we’re united, and we need to stay together.—
But the budget wasn’t the only topic of discussion at the Conference meeting. Obama reiterated his support for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who has been under fire in recent weeks for his handling of the American International Group’s retention bonuses to executives.
Obama told Senate Democrats that Geithner had taken a beating in the press but that the financial markets and others were starting to see his effectiveness, according to one Senator.