Obama Talks Pope, Ukraine, IMF With Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, McConnell
Updated 10 a.m. | President Barack Obama discussed the crisis in Ukraine, his visit with Pope Francis and other issues with congressional leaders Thursday evening at the White House, according to a readout from a White House official.
The meeting with Congress’s big four — Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — was called by Obama to discuss his big overseas trip and Ukraine.
The White House readout noted the president’s discussion with Pope Francis of immigration and reducing inequality. UPDATE: A Boehner aide said Friday, however, that there was no discussion of immigration at Thursday’s meeting.
Immigration has stalled in the House, and the leaders have been far apart on the president’s agenda to combat inequality, including a minimum wage hike and an extension of unemployment benefits.
Obama also once again urged the leaders to pass IMF legislation, which Boehner has refused to bring to the House floor, and updated the leaders on nuclear security and Saudi Arabia.
Here’s the full White House readout:
This evening, the President and Vice President met with Speaker Boehner, Democratic Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell to discuss his trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia last week and the situation in Ukraine. The President shared with the leaders a readout of his consultations with the G-7, the European Union, and NATO allies on Ukraine, highlighting that the United States continues to lead a coordinated international effort to support Ukraine and isolate Russia for its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The President thanked the leaders for finalizing an assistance package for Ukraine, which he signed earlier today, and urged them to allow for important IMF reforms so IMF has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission and ensure countries such as Ukraine have the tools to restore economic stability and determine their own future. The President updated the leaders on the Nuclear Security Summit and the important progress the international community is making in preventing nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands. He discussed his audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, in which the President and His Holiness discussed a wide range of issues including reducing inequality and the importance of immigration reform in the United States. The President also shared his thoughts from his meeting with King Abdullah on strengthening the enduring U.S.-Saudi Arabia relationship.