But while Obama will huddle with top Republicans on Tuesday, the House is also pushing ahead with bills and votes that lay bare collisions with the White House.
Here are a few things that will happen on Capitol Hill while everyone digests the aftermath of Monday’s Iowa caucuses:
Republicans will try to override Obama’s veto of legislation that would dismantle Obamacare, a vote doomed to failure that will nonetheless provide Republicans another opportunity to politically attack the health care law.
The House will also vote on Iran sanctions legislation—the bill that reflects GOP claims that the Obama administration has been dangerously accommodating to Iranian officials.
But Democrats call the bill, which would make it much harder to waive sanctions, a transparent attempt to scuttle the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. The White House has already said it would veto the bill if it ever reached Obama’s desk.
Look for members to be on time for this vote, which is a redo of an earlier effort. The House tried to vote on the measure on Jan. 13. But Ryan is a stickler for punctuality, and gaveled the 15-minute vote closed even though less than 300 members had showed up.
Back to criminal-justice reform for a moment: Advocates hope to build momentum Monday, when GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Democrat Bobby Scott host a discussion with members of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections. That’s a congressionally created group that just released a wide set of reform proposals.
Sen. Mike Lee, a tea-party favorite who has a emerged as a major force behind the bipartisan effort, is slated to attend.
The Senate is on the verge of moving its first major piece of energy legislation since the George W. Bush administration—assuming a lengthy amendment debate doesn’t sink the bill.
Two of the biggest priorities from both parties—lifting the crude-oil export ban and extending tax credits for renewable energy—got dealt with in the omnibus package, which has left this energy bill to deal with nitty-gritty material on energy infrastructure, increasing efficiency, and updating the electrical grid. But members are hoping to use the open amendment process to deal with major energy debates, even as sponsors try to ward away any poison-pill amendments.
And that means that, like the debate on last year’s Keystone XL bill (which was conducted under the threat of a veto), members have a lengthy list of amendments, covering President Obama’s power-plant regulations, the renewable-fuel standard, climate change, and everything in between.
Democrats are putting their weight behind an amendment that would offer federal assistance to the citizens of Flint, Michigan as they deal with lead contamination in the city’s drinking water. Michigan Democrats Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow have a proposal that would offer up to $400 million in matching funds to address the crisis and force the federal government to notify communities of lead testing. Republicans, however, haven’t gotten behind the amendment and may balk at the extra spending, even while Democrats make the case that it should be considered emergency funding.