The Washington Post

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.


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.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Democrats debated Thursday night. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Chris Cillizza on the Democratic debate...
On Clinton: She poked a series of holes in Sanders's health-care proposal and broadly cast him as someone who talks a big game but simply can't hope to achieve his goals.

On Sanders: If the challenge was to show that he could be a candidate for people other than those who already love him, he didn't make much progress toward that goal. But he did come across as more well-versed on foreign policy than in debates past.
The PBS debate in 3 minutes
We are in vigorous agreement here.
Hillary Clinton, during the PBS Democratic debate, a night in which she and Sanders shared many of the same positions on issues
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz heading into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
Fact Checker
Trump’s claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion
The billionaire's claim is highly dubious. Based on the costs of the Israeli security barrier (which is mostly fence) and the cost of the relatively simple fence already along the U.S.-Mexico border, an $8 billion price tag is simply not credible.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.