House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio pauses while meeting with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. On Wednesday, the Republican-run House passed an immense $1.1 trillion spending package, a bipartisan compromise that all but banishes the likelihood of an election-year government shutdown. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Senior Republican leadership sent a letter to President Obama Thursday in response to his State of the Union speech saying "where there is potential for agreement we believe it is critical that we come together to advance the interests of the American people."
The letter, however, challenges the Obama administration, to "put their money where their mouth is," one senior GOP aide told TheBlaze. Republican leaders say Obama has deliberately failed to pass legislation that would have resolved at least four areas both parties agree on.
It is an effort by House Speaker John Boehner, along with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, of Virginia; Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, of California, and Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state to push against Obama's threats to use his executive authority to pass legislation that Republican's don't agree with.
"There is no reason that we cannot accomplish our objectives in these areas of common agreement, and we are confident that success in these areas will open even more areas for success," Boehner's letter states. "The American people are counting on us. Let's get to work."
The Republican's picked four areas of Obama's speech that they could find agreement with and challenge the president to do the same. However, for Democrats passing the agreed to legislation would require policy changes within the party and some lawmakers believe that leaves area for compromise.
Here's some excerpts from the letter, a copy of which was given to TheBlaze
Skills training for workers to match potential employees with the right employer.
"We agree and we don't need to wait. Last March, the House of Representatives passed the Skills Act which would consolidate the myriad of federal job training programs to focus resources on the programs that work, more closely link employment training to available jobs, eliminate red tape that delays individuals from receiving the training they need, and strengthen the relationship between community colleges and job training programs."
Although the Skills Act was endorsed by governors it has been dead in the Senate and not even brought up for review, the letter states.
President Obama said during his State of the Union address that natural gas is the "bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change."
"Businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas. I'll cut the red tape and help get those factories built," he added.
Republican leadership said they agreed, adding that in November, "the House passed a bipartisan Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Act. This legislation would cut the red tape to ensure that pipelines can be built to connect our growing natural gas supplies with the new manufacturing plants you spoke of in your speech."
However, the Senate has not acted on the proposal and Boehner asked Obama to urge Senate leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, to take up the legislation to discuss with Republicans in the next several months.
President Obama emphasized during the State of the Union that it was time to do away with "Mad Men" antiquated workplace policies that failed to reduce hardships for families who are dealing with sick children or elderly parents.
However, House Republicans passed the Working Families Flexibility Act to fix this injustice but last May, "your administration released a statement saying that your senior advisor would recommend that you veto the bill 'in its current form.' In light of your comments Tuesday night, we ask you revisit the situation.
Federally funded Research
Obama told the nation in his speech that he wanted to reverse the cuts made to "basic research" so companies will have the resources needed to be innovative.
House leadership "overwhelmingly passed the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, which would eliminate public funding for political party conventions and instead fund pediatric research at the National Institute of Health.