During a meeting at the White House Tuesday, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell offered to help the President accomplish the key goal of job creation laid out in his State of the Union address through the development of international trade and clean American energy.
McConnell said the best way to accomplish these job-creating measures is to bring them to the Senate floor as stand-alone measures, not attached to other controversial provisions, "to produce immediate bipartisan accomplishments that will grow jobs here at home."
McConnell offered to work with the President on four specific items from the State of the Union:
* Increase clean nuclear energy in America
* Expand exploration of offshore areas for oil and gas development
* Develop Clean Coal technologies
* Expand American exports through free trade agreements
In a meeting with reporters following the White House discussion, McConnell said:
"We had a good meeting with the President, and, what I'd like to emphasize is there are some areas of potential agreement. He mentioned in the State of the Union his support for nuclear power, for offshore drilling, for clean coal technology and for trade agreements, presumable with Colombia, Panama, and Korea -- the ones that have been languishing now for a year and a half, or so.
"These are areas where I think there could be pretty broad, bipartisan support to go forward on a collaborative basis. Obviously, there will be areas of disagreement. But, emphasizing the things that we might be able to work on together, I would mention those four areas, all of which I think would be job generators: nuclear power, offshore drilling, clean coal technology, and pass those languishing trade agreements which we know create jobs here in the United States."
Background: For each of the President's four goals, Republicans recommended ways to achieve broad, bipartisan support. In order to achieve the President's goal of "building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants," Republicans support his proposal to increase nuclear loan. In an effort to start "making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development," Republicans support expanded exploration off the Outer Continental Shelf where states choose to do so. Republicans identified developing clean coal technologies as an area where the President could find bipartisan agreement. They also advised the President that, in order to expand U.S. exports, he would find support for pending free trade agreements.