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For the first time since December 2012, President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) had a face-to-face meeting this week. The two met for roughly an hour and covered an incredibly long laundry list of items that included: the California drought, the Affordable Care Act, wildfires, manufacturing, the Highway Trust Fund, trade promotion authority, immigration, and Afghanistan.

While observers do not expect the meeting to bear immediate fruit, this event was seen as a thawing in what had been a very frosty relationship between the two men since the breakdown in negotiations over attempts to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" at the end of 2012.

Republicans, particularly in the House, have cited a lack of trust in the administration as an impediment to several policy initiatives - most notably on the question of comprehensive tax reform.

 With Republicans likely to hold on to the House, if not expand their majority, and with it increasingly possible that Republicans could gain control in the Senate, the ability of the White House and Speaker Boehner to work together in the final two years of the Obama administration will be key to progress on a range of important issues.