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Boehner, Obama Meet in Oval Office (Updated)

Updated: Feb. 25 2:52 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner and President Barack Obama met for about an hour in the Oval Office Tuesday morning on a wide range of subjects and agreed to work together “wherever we can.”  

That was according to a readout from an aide to the Ohio Republican.  

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the meeting “good and constructive” and “useful.”  

Carney noted Boehner had previously said he would not negotiate with the president again. He said generally that Obama is looking at ways to advance his agenda.  

Here’s the Boehner aide statement: “The president and speaker had a constructive conversation in the Oval Office for about an hour today. The two discussed a wide range of issues, including manufacturing, trade promotion authority, flood insurance, immigration, the president’s health care law, Afghanistan, the appropriations process, California drought relief, wildfire suppression, and the highway bill. They agreed that there is a lot work to do the rest of the year, and it is important to work together wherever we can find common ground.”  

Carney issued a similar list of topic matters but said he would not go into more detail. Boehner has said the president must regain the trust of Republicans that he will carry out the law in order to move an immigration overhaul this year — the president’s top legislative priority, and has urged the president to make a stronger case for continuing the nation’s involvement in Afghanistan beyond the end of this year. However, Obama also called Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai amid increasing concern that Karzai will not sign an agreement allowing a continued military presence in that country.  

Carney said Tuesday that the “zero option” is becoming increasingly likely and the Defense Department announced that they are starting to plan for that contingency. Carney also said that if an agreement is delayed until late in the year that would reduce the scope and ambition of any continuing mission by the United States.  

Obama will also soon unveil his budget blueprint soon for fiscal 2015.  

Boehner has also urged Obama to get his Democrats on board for a broad trade push, including new agreements with Europe and Asia and the fast-track authority to push them through the Congress.  

In recent days White House aides have been tweeting out old articles with Boehner statements that he was done negotiating one-on-one with Obama.

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