House GOP Seeks Meeting With President Obama On Stimulus Bill

House GOP Seeks Meeting With President Obama On Stimulus Bill
   By Fawn Johnson    Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES  

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- House Republicans are seeking an audience with President Obama to discuss his proposed $825 billion economic stimulus package even as several House committees are set to consider the plan this week.

"We want to sit down with the president and talk about our ideas," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "To preserve jobs and to create jobs has to be the goal. Fast-acting tax relief, we believe, is the best way to do that."

House Republican leaders sent a letter to Obama on Wednesday asking for a Thursday meeting, the same day that several committee meetings are scheduled for members to vote on the bill.

The House Ways and Means Committee will go forward with Thursday's scheduled markup of the tax provisions in the stimulus package regardless of whether Obama grants the Republicans' request, according to a House aide.

Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, said the panel's minority members will present their ideas through amendments for debate.

"We really need to know before we spend a trillion dollars what kind of private sector jobs we might see, because those are what really drive the economy," he said.

Without going into detail, Camp said committee Republicans would propose tax relief for small businesses, families and entrepreneurs.

Republicans have made clear that they aren't opposed to all of the massive stimulus plan, which includes some tax breaks for businesses.

But House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., said he and his colleagues won't support broad government spending that they believe makes up a large chunk of the package unveiled by House Democrats last week.

"We feel very, very strongly that we would like to sit down with president and tell him we are opposed to what the congressional Democrats have said they want to do," Cantor said.

-By Fawn Johnson, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9263; [email protected]

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 21, 2009 14:42 ET (19:42 GMT)

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