Speaker of the House John A. Boehner shakes hands with President Obama as… (Mark Wilson / Getty Images )
House Republican leaders pledged swift action Friday on President Obama's jobs plan, the latest sign of a thaw in relations between the two parties, though hardly a guarantee his initiatives would be received favorably.
A letter to the president signed by the top four House Republicans said the chamber "will immediately begin the process of reviewing and considering" Obama's plans.
"We believe creating long-term, sustainable jobs must be the top priority for elected leaders of both parties, and it is our desire to work with you to find common ground on steps that can be taken to allow our economy to grow and to create those jobs," the leaders wrote.
Immediately after Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress on Thursday, House Speaker John A. Boehner issued a warm statement saying his ideas "merit consideration."
Today he, along with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), repeated that notion, while pointing out that Republicans held different views about what is needed to boost the economy.
"We share your desire for bipartisan cooperation, and assume that your ideas were not presented as an all-or-nothing proposition, but rather in anticipation that the Congress may also have equally as effective proposals to offer for consideration," they wrote. "The American people expect us to bring together the best of both parties' ideas, and it is our desire to work together to find common ground between your ideas and ours."
Obama is expected to officially send his "American Jobs Act" to the Congress for its consideration next week. He's also promised a detailed speech on Sept. 19 outlining his deficit reduction plan, something the GOP leaders said they would need to consider as well.
They also said that rather than a single bill, elements of Obama's plan may best be moved through "as stand-alone legislation," including a free-trade agreement that Congress has already been waiting to act on.
Earlier Friday, Obama made an urgent appeal to a friendly crowd in Richmond, Va. -- Cantor's home district -- to begin contacting their lawmakers to press for action. He will make similar pitches in Ohio and North Carolina -- also 2012 swing states -- next Tuesday and Wednesday.