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Minnesota's House Democrats attend meeting with President Obama

Posted by: Corey Mitchell under 8th District, Democrats, Republicans, President Obama Updated: March 14, 2013 - 4:39 PM

After President Obama met with House Democrats on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan said he is "cautiously optimistic" that lawmakers and the White House can reach compromise on the nation's fiscal issues.

It was Obama's third day of meetings on Capitol Hill this week with lawmakers from both parties to discuss budgets, deficit reduction gun control and immigration. Obama met with Senate Republicans before his session with House Democrats

Nolan said Obama discussed closing tax loopholes and reforming entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

"He made a very compelling case for a balanced approach to this budget," said Nolan, who represents the state's Seventh District.

Several news organizations, including Politico, have cited White House Chief of Staff and Minnesota native Denis McDonough as the driving force behind Obama's outreach to members of Congress as the administration seeks to broker agreements on a range of issues.

The effort hasn't yielded immediate returns. On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, proposed a budget plan that would slash spending for programs that Democrats want to preserve and rescind funding for the Affordable Care Act, Obama's health care reform law.

Obama met House Republicans on Wednesday. Nolan said it is incumbent upon Republicans, who control the lower chamber, to work with the president.

"He's making a good effort to get everybody in the Congress involved," Nolan said. "Until there's some movement on their part ... it's going to be difficult to reach any kind of agreement."

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