President Obama and congressional House Republicans took steps Wednesday towards working together on matters ranging from trade to spending cuts.
The president invited House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other House leaders to the White House for lunch to address the issues.
Both sides agreed in general terms they have to cut spending and reduce the deficit - but the details may be harder to iron out.
"It was a very good lunch, and we were able to find enough common ground to show the American people that we're willing to work on their behalf and willing to do it together," Boehner said.
"There's broad agreement that we have to change the way Washington works, particularly as it relates to spending. We have to do so in a way that protects important investments so we can win the future," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.
Last week, the president had a similar lunch meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. The White House says it expects many more meetings like this.
"I don't think the president believes this can be a one-time-only affair," Gibbs said.
Meanwhile, Republicans have been battling amongst themselves over the size of budget cuts.
Congressional leaders had pledged $100 billion in cuts beyond what the president wanted but fell short of that goal.
After pressure from Tea Party members, they've agreed to find more ways to cut the deficit.