US Vice president-elect meets leaders of Congress

Washington, Nov 18 (IANS) US Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

According to Ryan’s office after the meeting held on Thursday, the two conservative politicians had a “productive” meeting on the transition activities of the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, Efe news reported.

Discussed at the meeting, which lasted about 45 minutes, were a series of legislative priorities and the two leaders reaffirmed their desire to work together over the next two months to get started implementing the Republican agenda on the day Trump takes office, January 20, 2017.

Pence had met a few hours before with Republican lawmakers in the lower house, who he told to “buckle up” because the new administration intends to move quickly to get started on implementing its agenda.

Ryan said after his meeting with Pence that the pair were truly committed to having a “united” Republican government.

The speaker also said that among the priorities for cooperation between the executive and legislative branches is finding a way to overturn President Barack Obama’s health care reform, known as Obamacare, and find an alternative that provides relief to US families, many of whom will see their premiums go up under the reform in 2017.

Pence also met behind closed doors with Pelosi, who has not yet been confirmed in her post of leading Democrats in the lower house but who nevertheless relayed the concerns of Democratic lawmakers to Pence regarding the transition process and the recent appointments made by the mogul.

Democratic sources told Efe news that Pelosi expressed to Pence Democrats’ profound concern over Trump’s naming of Steve Bannon to be his strategy chief, given that he is known for his links to white supremacism.

Pelosi asked Pence to urge the president-elect to “reconsider” appointing Bannon.