WASHINGTON - Republican lawmakers said Sunday they welcomed President Obama's courtship and suggested the fresh engagement between the White House and Congress might help yield solutions to the stubborn budget battle that puts Americans' jobs at risk.
Yet the lawmakers cautioned that years of hurt feelings were unlikely to heal simply because Obama dined last week with Republican lawmakers. They also said they would not rush too quickly into Obama's embrace during three scheduled, and unusual, visits to Capitol Hill this week to win them over.
"He is moving in the right direction. I'm proud of him for doing it. I think it's a great thing," Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), said. "I'm welcoming [him] with open arms. I think the president is tremendously sincere. I don't think this is just a political change in tactic. I think he would actually like to solve the problems of this country."