Obama-GOP dinner to be held at White House, Priebus offers to order pizza

Update 11:58 a.m.: Sen. Johnny Isakson's (R-Ga.) office confirms that the dinner will indeed be held at the White House. Isakson spokeswoman Joan Kirchner says "the Obama folks have chosen to have the dinner at the White House at 6:30 p.m."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Tuesday criticized President Obama for meeting with Republican senators at an upscale restaurant at a time of sequester-related budget-cutting. Instead, Priebus is offering to order pizza for their get-together Wednesday.

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AP

Citing the White House's sequester-related cuts, Priebus suggested it would make more sense to pick a cheaper meal option and hold the event at the White House to avoid extra security costs.

“Since the president has been complaining loudly about the cutbacks they’ve had to make at the White House — including tours for schoolchildren — due to the sequester, it only seems appropriate that they avoid the considerable security expenses of dining at an upscale restaurant,” Priebus said in a statement. “Instead of eating out as the president and senators did last month, I suggest they eat in."

Priebus added: “In fact, I’d like to offer to order pizza for them and have it delivered to the White House. ... If we’re lucky, maybe the pizza will serve to illuminate an important economic point for President Obama: instead of redistributing the slices, the best way to make everyone happy is to make the pie bigger. It’s as true for dinner as it is for economic growth and opportunity.”

Obama is set to dine with a group of Senate Republicans on Wednesday night. Last month, Obama's dinner with Senate Republicans cost $85 per head, in addition to the security costs of holding it at the Jefferson Hotel near the White House. The White House Obama personally picked up the tab.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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