The day before President Obama released his budget, his chief of staff sat down for a secret meeting with House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Time magazine reports.
“It was the first time I have had a candid conversation or a substantial conversation with a member of the Obama administration since they came into power,” Ryan told the magazine of his meeting with Denis McDonough. The two had beers at Brasserie Beck, a Belgian restaurant on K Street, and connected over their Irish Catholic, Midwestern heritage, the magazine reported.
The same night, Obama hosted Senate Republicans for dinner at the White House. McDonough went on to meet with several Senate Republicans himself and has since been spotted dining with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
Cantor, in a chat in his office just now, said he told McDonough that the House GOP isn't the enemy. If O engages, they'll engage, he said.
— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 8, 2013
As yet, none of this outreach has led to any sign of a deal on the budget. Ryan said Tuesday that there is no point in opening formal budget negotiations between the House and the Senate,