President Obama invites Senate Republicans to dinner again

President Obama apparently liked the company of Senate Republicans so much after dining them earlier this month that he will do so again in April.

Or at least he seems to believes the intimate sessions are his best hope of finding a way to forge agreement on a series of contentious issues, including the budget, immigration and guns.

Obama will have his second dinner in as many months with Senate Republicans on April 10, a White House official confirmed. The president dined earlier this month with a group of Republicans at the Jefferson Hotel, part of a charm offensive.

The new dinner is being coordinated by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). A spokesman for the senator said the president called him in the last two weeks and asked if he would like to help organize a second dinner and Isakson replied he would be happy to.

The dinner party – no location or guest list has been announced yet – will come during what will otherwise likely be a fiery week for Obama and the Republican opposition.

The president is set to release his budget that week – a package of new spending programs and tax hikes that the GOP is sure to oppose. He will also be pushing for quick progress on a bill to overhaul immigration laws and to pass legislation to try to reduce gun violence.

One question: who will foot the bill? The president paid for the Jefferson dinner, complete with Hamachi tartar appetizer and lamb acai and lobster entrees, out of his own pocket.

Politico was first to report the meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Zachary A. Goldfarb is policy editor at The Washington Post.
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Aaron Blake · March 27, 2013