White House Press Pool latest – look who is at the White House!

Subject: Pool report #1

Good morning from the White House.

Your pool was ushered into the Roosevelt Room shortly before 10:30 a.m., where President Obama was seated along with: Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Reid, Vice President Biden, Treasury Secretary Geithner, Senate Minority Leader McConnell, and House Minority Leader Pelosi. Jack Lew and Gene Sperling also at the table.

His comments follow:

"I want to welcome the congressional leadership here and thank them for their time. I think we're all aware that we have some urgent business to do. We've got to make sure that taxes don't go up on middle class families, that our economy remains strong."

"That's an agenda that Democrats and Republicans and independents, people all across the country share. So our challenge is to make sure that we are able to cooperate together work together find some common ground, make some tough compromises build some consensus to do the people's business."

The president said folks are looking for "action."

"They want to see that we are focused on them not on the politics here in Washington. My hope is this is going to be the beginning of a fruitful process that we're able to come to agreement that will reduce our deficit in a balanced way, that we will deal with some of these long-term impediments to growth and we're also going to be focusing on making sure that middle class families are able to get ahead."

"And with that we're going to get to work. "

The president also turned to Boehner with a big smile and said he had one more announcement to make today, which is to wish the speaker a happy birthday. "We didn't make him a cake because we didn't know how many candles we'd need."

The two laughed and shook hands, and Boehner said, "Yeah, right."

Pool was ushered out of the room. Let the games begin!

From the WH:

Left to right far side of the table:

Secretary Geithner
Speaker Boehner
The President
Majority Leader Reid
Chief of Staff Jack Lew

Left to right close side of the table:

Leader Pelosi
The Vice President
Minority Leader McConnell
National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling

Amy Gardner
White House reporter
The Washington Post