WASHINGTON (AP) — A friendly Passover call between US President Barack Obama and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who is Jewish, may turned into an immigration argument Wednesday.
The Virginia Republican said Obama called him Wednesday to discuss Obama’s desire for an immigration overhaul. The call came after Obama released a statement accusing Republicans of repeatedly failing to act and of being behind the times on immigration.
Cantor said Obama still hasn’t learned how to work effectively with Congress. He said Obama’s statement shows he has no sincere desire to work together.
Obama supports a bipartisan Senate bill that has stalled in the House, where Republicans prefer a piecemeal approach. Cantor said House Republicans don’t support the Senate bill and the House won’t vote on it.
The White House took issue with Cantor’s version of events, arguing that Obama had called Cantor, who is Jewish, to wish him a happy Passover, and immigration came up during the call. A White House official described the call as “pleasant” and said the White House was surprised by the description of the call circulated by Cantor’s staff, adding that it didn’t reflect what had actually transpired.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, wasn’t authorized to comment by name.