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John Boehner: Relationship with Obama Is 'a Little Frosty'

TOBY JORRIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As the struggle between the White House and Congress over how to get Americans back to work has heated up in recent weeks, House Speaker John Boehner's relationship with President Obama has grown "frosty," the Ohio Republican said on Sunday.

But Boehner maintains that they still have a "pretty good relationship" and they can work together on job creation measures and on reaching a long-term deficit reduction plan in Congress this month.

"The president and I have a pretty good relationship," Boehner said in an exclusive interview with ABC's This Week anchor Christiane Amanpour.  "It's been a little frosty here the last few weeks.  But we've got a pretty good relationship."

"That doesn't mean that we always agree," he added.  "But the American people expect, even though we have very different ideas, the American people want us to look for common ground and then act on it. ... We've taken some steps in the right direction here over the last couple of months.  We've got a lot more steps to take together."

While the latest jobs report showed only modest growth, with the unemployment rate dropping slightly to 9.0 percent, little progress has been made in Congress on job creation measures since Obama introduced his American Jobs Act in September.

Boehner cited the recently-passed free trade bills with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea as recent bipartisan actions in Congress, but he said further action on jobs is being stalled by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

"We've passed 22 bills, all with bipartisan support, that would help reduce barriers to job growth," Boehner said.  "They all remain in the United States Senate."

Last week, the Senate failed to pass portions of Obama's jobs bill, including bipartisan measures on infrastructure spending, because Democrats pushed to pay for them with a tax on millionaires.

"Over half of the people who would be taxed under this plan are, in fact, small business people," Boehner said.  "And, as a result, you're going to basically increase taxes on the very people that we're hoping will reinvest in our economy and create jobs.  That's the real crux of the problem."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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